De Leest (Vaassen, The Netherlands)


The Place

Restaurant De Leest (2* Michelin) is located in the quiet town of Vaassen in the Gelderland province, which is often referred to as the green heart of The Netherlands. The abundance of the fields and the many rivers in the region is reflected in Chef Jacob Boerma’s cooking philosophy and a wide variety of different herbs, vegetables, fishes and meats are used in this dishes.



Pictures in cooperation with Shoot That Food.

The interior of the restaurant is luxury decorated with modern art and has a warm and cosy feeling. The dining room boasts a lot of wood and the use of dark colours, luxury chairs and beautiful pillows makes the guests feel relaxed and offer the ideal environment for a great meal.

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The Chef

Restaurant De Leest is the gastronomic child of Chef Jacob Jan Boerma and lady of the house Kim Veldman. Together they transformed an old shoemaker’s shop in Vaassen (The Netherlands) into a top restaurant where quality and top ingredients form the basis of a great culinary experience.


Owners Jacob Jan Boerma (chef) and Kim Veldman (Lady of the house) have been travelling the world in search of culinary perfection and are still spending every free moment to discover new restaurants all over the world. This gastronomic experience is used in the kitchen to create diverse and interesting dishes with international influences.


The chef Jacob Jan Boerma hails from Austria and became obsessed by gastronomy at the age of 16. After gaining experience in top restaurants in Belgium, Germany and England he decided to start his own restaurant in 2002, together with his wife Kim Veldman.

The Food

Quickly gaining international respect and recognition, the chef serves beautifully presented food based on the traditional French cuisine, prepared with organic and mainly regional ingredients. It’s quite remarkable that he does not use any butter in his preparations: different kinds of (flavored) oils are used instead. This way his kitchen becomes lighter, healthier and the flavored oils (with vegetables or herbs like verbena) give the dishes another taste dimension.


Together with his sous-chef Ewout Eleveld and the rest of the team, the chef creates menus that stand out in abundance with many appetisers, great dishes and a parade of sweets to accompany your coffee.


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YOUNG SEA BREAM, VEGETABLES & CHORIZO: Tartar of young sea bream with marinated tomatoes perfumed with spices, lettuce leaves and vegetables from the garden, sauce of roasted vegetables, vinegar of chorizo
Wine: 2012 Verdicchio di Matelica, Collestefano



LANGOUSTINE & YOUNG LEEK: Shortly roasted langoustine with braised young leek, sweet and sour mushrooms, young sprout of green peas, its own gravy and summer truffle
Wine: 2011 Grüner Veltliner, Donauwinzer, Niederösterreich
The langoustine is perfectly cooked and the seasoning gives this beautiful ingredient another dimension with sour accents and oriental flavors.


NORTH SEA CRAB & GARDEN PLANT: Fresh North sea crab with cucumber, soft cream of sour cream and chavroux, green herbs with garden plant
Wine: 2011 Riesling, trocken ‘’S’’ Pfalz, Ökonomierat Rebholz


LOBSTER, POUDRE D’OR & TARRAGON: Lobster prepared with Tandoori, summer vegetables with soft cream of potimarron, Poudre D’or and nuances of tarragon
Wine: 2010 Pieve Vecchia, Veneto, Fasoli Gino
The subtle Indian tandoori flavor matches perfectly with the sweetness of the lobster and makes this a dish to return for.


NORTH SEA PLAICE, CAULIFLOWER & VADOUVAN: North sea plaice prepared with vadouvan, different textures of cauliflower with marinated and sweet and sour of cucumber
Wine: 2011 Domaine de Joncier, Lirac blanc, Marine Roussel


BEEF AS ‘’STEAK’’: Lightly pickled beef with pickled radish kinds, chavroux-herbs tablet, brittle of piment dulce and shots of little onions with spicy dressing
Wine: 2012 Beaujolais Cuvée traditionnelle, Domaine du Vissoux


ROE-DEER FROM THE REGION, SUMMER BEETS & CARDAMOM: Roasted roe -deer back with garam masala, different preparations of summer beets, wine berries and carrot with sauce of cardamom
Wine: 2009 Carmin, Mas des Agrunelles, Vin de Pays D’ oc

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Wine: 2011 Riesling Auslese, Pfannebecker, Rheinhessen

‘’Hazelnut sensation’’

Soft preparations of white and brown chocolate with verveine and raspberry


Preparations of pistachio with amarula, sorbet of coconut and yuzu


Different structures of black berries with buttermilk and yoghurt

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Coffee & Sweets



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The Wines

Wines are presented by lady of the house Kim Veldman and she prefers to work with mainly European and organic wines. A selection of wines is presented in a beautiful glass cabinet at the entrance of the restaurant, but the main wine collection can be found in the cellar underneath the restaurant.

The “Belgian Taste Buds” Experience

Restaurant De Leest offers a great dining experience in the centre of The Netherlands with an outstanding price-quality ratio and a beautiful setting. Jacob Jan Boerma and Kim Veldman successfully managed to build a great gastronomic restaurant that is really worth the journey.

Belgian Taste Buds:

–          Food Buds                                                    8.5/10

–          Wine Pairing Buds                                          8/10

–          Price/Quality Buds                                         8.5/10

–          Service Buds                                                 7.5/10

–          Experience Buds                                            8/10

Restaurant De Leest
Kerkweg 1
8171 VT Vaassen
The Netherlands
Phone: +31 578 57 13 82

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Original review made for Discover the ultimate guide for food lovers, travellers and the restaurant business. Discover many thousands of images and hundreds of films of the most amazing culinary wonders in the world. An exclusive documentation of the very best.

What Others Are Saying

  1. Frank Cops Oct 8, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Thanks for the advice! Great pictures, seems that i need to move to the North soon.

    • Sven & Adriaan Oct 8, 2013 at 4:51 pm

      Indeed! Let us know when, always up for a revisit ;-).

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