After seventeen years in business and three Michelin stars, De Leest in Vaassen, The Netherlands, will close its doors.
Owners Jacob Jan Boerma and Kim Veldman announced that they will walk away from one of the most acclaimed restaurants in The Netherlands in order to spend more time with their family, but also to start a new culinary adventure with a new restaurant in Amsterdam next year.
"I also really want my wife to be able to put that little man to bed more than once per week”
The couple plans to spend more time with their four-year-old son, Senne. "I've never been to a zoo or amusement park with him," Boerma said. "I also really want my wife to be able to put that little man to bed more than once per week."
Boerma reflected on the years of hard graft and sacrifices to take De Leest to the pinnacle of fine dining "but it was more than worth it", he said. "That hard work was more than worth it, but with that little boy there comes a time when you want to use your powers differently."
Ever since he was a boy himself, Boerma dreamed of being a great chef. "This dream once began in the backseat of my parents' car," he recalled. "That dream has more than come true; in 2020 I will have spent 30 years in the business, but it is now time for a nice change."
De Leest opened in 2002 and was awarded its first Michelin star five months later. The second star arrived five years later in 2007, followed by a third in 2013. That steady arch of high achievement is set to fininsh on a high as the couple look to pay more attention to their own little star.