Belga Queen’s story begins not in Belgium, where this fine restaurant can be found, but in Portugal, where founder Antoine Pinto came from as a 17-year-old political refugee. He fled his native country in 1974 after his political activities caught the attention of the authorities. Leaving at night and hitchhiking across Portugal, Spain and France, he finally reached Belgium. Pinto studied architectural interior design at the Académie des Beaux-Arts, and financed his studies by cooking in several restaurants. In 1976, he opened his first restaurant Honolulu in Liège, and has since built a career as both a successful interior architect and a celebrated chef, having managed over 30 restaurants.