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Boury: Razor-sharp focus

The love story between Luxembourgers and the “Côte Belge” is well known. The only issue on the road lies around Brussels’s ring road and its traffic jams. Next time, take the motorway towards Charleroi, continue past Courtrai, and stop in Roeselare for an exquisite detour. Bruges and Knocke-Heist are only a few kilometers away. Welcome to Boury.

1-2-3 chefs

There are three “chefs” at Boury. Tim Boury, the owner and executive chef was born nearby, in Nieuwkerke. He wanted to be a baker but ended up studying in a hotel school in Koksijde before landing his first job at “Comme chez soi,” which had three Michelin stars at the time. This is where he met his wife, Inge, who was also “Chef de Partie” there. Before founding Boury together, they both followed their own galactic path: Inge worked with Peter Goossens at “Hof van Cleve” – 3 stars - while Tim became the left-hand of Sergio Herman at “Oud Sluis.” He helped Herman to go from 2 to 3 awards. He later became executive chef at Belgaqueen in Ghent where he finalized his preparation before his big leap. The third “chef” is Ben, Tim’s brother. He studied business and accounting before taking care of the Boury business including strategy, recruitment, accounting, and social media: “Everything a chef hates” says Tim with a smile. Three stars since 2021. Three chefs taking care of their respective “departments.” This trio is clearly pushing the limits of excellence with its razor-sharp focus.

“This trio is clearly pushing the limits of excellence"

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From left to right, Ben Boury, Tim Boury, Inge Waeles - A family Business

Roeselare

The first restaurant they opened in Roeselare in 2010 was in the city center. Inge’s father and brother took care of the renovation while Tim and Ben’s father helped secure the financing. It seemed to be a safe investment: The Boury team was awarded its first star after only one year. In 2015, Gault & Millau gave them 17/20, and a year later, they moved to the current 1915 villa. The villa was extensively renovated, with four guest rooms, a huge garden, and a private conference room for up to 20 people. Tim was named “Belgium Chef of the Year” the same year and landed a second star in 2017. It would take only four more years before the third Michelin star was awarded.

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Front side of Roselaere restaurant

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Boury Academy's students

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Turning a staff problem into an opportunity

There is only one “Three Michelin star” restaurant west of Brussels, but there are eight “two-star” competitors in the region – without counting the crowded one-star field. It puts San Sebastian, known for having the highest concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants per capita, at risk of losing its prestigious reputation. “All restaurants compete for the same employees” insists Inge Boury. To solve this issue, they created an academy where they welcome students from all over the world. “We inspire them and they inspire us,” says Tim. This creative approach allows the kitchen to rely on a large team – with young colleagues focusing on repetitive tasks – while the whole crew contributes to a highly diverse and creative culture. This clearly shows in the plates and the vibe of the whole villa.

The experience

What makes the “Boury experience” so special? The service? The food? The sommelier’s recommendations? The atmosphere? It is really hard to put words on three-star stunts. I stopped showing iPhone pictures to my friends: Only those who have booked a table can understand what we are talking about in these stellar places. For a few hours, the whole team is running a meticulous show to make you feel truly special and carefree. In this theatrical play, the slightest mistake can wake you up to our current, highly complex world. At Boury, the three-headed management structure seems to nail one detail after the other, preventing guests from interrupting their visceral journey too soon. Do yourself a favor: Book your table.

Interview - Tim Boury

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“Diversity in the kitchen is a key ingredient to our creativity.” 

“The time is now” is your motto. When guests enter your restaurant, what is it time for?

For me and my team, it is time to focus on the job. Everything needs to be perfect. We want to overwhelm our guests with joy, happiness, and love in a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere.

How do you find time to pack everything: running the restaurant, spending time with your family, exploring creativity?

When the restaurant is open, I really want to be in the kitchen: Four days of full focus on ‘Boury restaurant’. On these days, I have little time for my two teenage daughters. As a three-star chef, I have a lot of requests for assignments in Belgium and abroad, which I mostly fulfill when the restaurant is closed. But Sunday is the day for quality time with friends and family.

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Why did you choose Roselaere?

I was born nearby, in Nieuwkerke. We chose Roeselare because it is in the center of West Flanders, near the French border and between three cities: Kortrijk, Bruges, and Gent. We also found the perfect building here to start the restaurant.

Which tradition do you perpetuate here?

We are lucky to have many great farmers and producers around us! People from Roeselare and its surroundings are “Bourgondiers” as we say, or “Bourguignons” in French. They enjoy good, classic food and wine. They go out with friends and gladly spend their nights in a restaurant or a café. As a restaurant with an international reach, it inspires me to combine classical cuisine with international influences. 

What do you advise people to do when they arrive here?

Roeselare is a small but cozy city. Stroll in the shopping streets, visit the famous cycling museum, or just enjoy the terrasses on the market square.

How does it feel to work with your family?

Working with my wife and my brother is nice because I can trust them totally. Ben takes care of the general management, Boury Bottled, and Boury Academy. However, I sometimes miss my brother: It is not always easy to not talk about business during family gatherings at the weekend.

How important is Boury Academy?

Young students and sometimes experienced cooks can follow a 3-month internship at Boury. We offer accommodation in three staff houses in Roeselare. This gives them the opportunity to prove their skills, mentality, and discipline. In the end, they can make a well-informed decision on whether to stay or not. This system works very well. It helped us solve a problem we did not know we had: Diversity in the kitchen is a key ingredient to our creativity.

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“Perfection is the only thing I require in my kitchen.” 

What is your management style, especially with young people?

35 people work here. The name of the game is to use the best of each person. I really want to be part of the team. I am always the first in the kitchen and the last to leave. All fish and meat dishes pass through my hands. Sometimes, I go out with the boys on Saturday evenings for a beer, though. Of course, I am very strict. Perfection is the only thing I require in my kitchen. Once in a while, I have to complain and the tension grows, but this is forgotten from the moment we serve the last plates.

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