Nature leads the way. We follow her by working with ingredients from our natural surroundings, harvested at the moment they’re at their peak of flavour.

Without losing sight of our Dutch roots, we add fresh tones, sour accents, and spices to our dishes. These bring balance and excitement to the taste. They are the signature of our cooking style.

Each day we go yet again in search of pristine ingredients. This might seem like an easy task but it is definitely not. In the Netherlands the seasons are never the same from one year to the next. Nothing reaches its peak at the same time and in the same way as the year before. We find our own way through this ever-changing cycle. It’s an endless and interesting learning process that constantly challenges our creativity.

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Vegetables are the basis of each new dish. The choice of other ingredients comes later. This is followed by the fresh tones, elegant sour accents and spices that are our trademark.


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The local ingredients that we are so fond of working with are harvested au point:at the moment their taste, bite and structure are at their best. One plant might appear on the plate as a young shoot while another is processed only after reaching full maturity.

Nature determines quality: the moment something has reached its peak. It thus also determines when we can work with which products and ingredients. The same is true for fish and meat. The North Sea offers us an enormous variety of fish and shellfish. Our country’s variety of soils each gives a different flavour to local vegetables, meat, dairy products and fruit. Add the seasons to this mix and you have the unique character of the Dutchterroir.


Organic, creative, inventive, aromatic, brightly sour. These are the keywords that say everything about our cuisine and way of working.


We cook with and combine the best ingredients nature has to offer us. The aromas and the sour accents which provide for a fresh taste, make our cooking style unique.

Nevertheless, our cuisine always begins mainly with Dutch ingredients. The Netherlands has an enormous wealth of products. The North Sea is a treasure trove of fish and shellfish. But the land itself also yields a vast range of products. Various types of soil each give a particular taste to the array of vegetables and fruit. Finally, the ever-changing seasons help to make the Dutch terroir unique. 

The sour accents, fresh tones and spices that we incorporate into our dishes are our trademark. A signature cuisine results from a personal preference for these exciting flavours in combination with the best local ingredients we can find.


The nature reserve known as the Veluwe lies literally at our doorstep. It is an enormous source of inspiration.

All that we see, feel, taste and experience in the Veluwe influences what we do. Our natural environment thus forms the basis of all the products we use. This is where the love for our profession begins.

We are happy to practise our profession in a place where no two days are the same. In the restaurant every day is unique. The changing seasons mean that the light changes, giving each day a new decor. But the atmosphere depends on our guests. Every guest makes a difference to how we experience the restaurant. This, above all, is what our profession is all about.

This philosophy is not new. It was present at the birth of Restaurant De Leest in the summer of 2002, from the very first day that Jacob Jan Boerma and Kim Veldman began to convert an old shoe factory in rural Vaassen into their restaurant.

In 2003 we received our first Michelin star. The second followed in November 2007, and since 2014 Restaurant De Leest has had three Michelin stars. On various other culinary lists—those of Lekker and of Gault & Millau, for example—Restaurant De Leest is found in the top ranks.

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