Three-Michelin star De Leest to close its doors for sake of owners' child

Kim Veldman and Jacob Jan Boerma at the 2014 Michelin awards in Paris
Kim Veldman and Jacob Jan Boerma at the 2014 Michelin awards in ParisPhoto: Restaurant De Leest/Twitter

Three Michelin star restaurant De Leest in Vaassen is closing its doors 17 years after opening, owners Jacob Jan Boerma and Kim Veldman announced. They will start a new culinary adventure with the launch of a concept restaurant in Amsterdam early next year, RTL Nieuws reports.

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 told the broadcaster. "I also really want my wife to be able to put that little man to bed more than once per week."

It took a colossal effort to make De Leest so successful, "but it was more than worth it", Boerma 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."

Boerma and Veldman are ready to face new culinary challenges, and also to explore international opportunities. "This dream once began in the backseat of my parents' car," Boerma added, reminiscing that even as a child he wanted to become a celebrated chef. "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 its doors in 2002 and received its first Michelin star within five months. The second followed in 2007, the third in 2013. It was one of three restaurants in the Netherlands to hold three stars. The others are De Librije in Zwolle and Inter Scaldes in Kruiningen.