Michelin releases 2014 guide to Great Britain and Ireland

Michelin_2014Two restaurants in London have been promoted to two Michelin stars: Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and the Greenhouse in Mayfair, as the French tyre company has released its 2014 guide to Great Britain and Ireland.

Despite industry rumours there were no three-star additions yet again to the new Michelin guide, which also awarded 15 establishments their first stars.

In London there were eight restaurants celebrating their first Michelin star: Armetsa with Arzak Instruction, Brasserie Chavot, Bo London, HKK, Lima, Outlaw at the Capital, Story and the Social Eating House, while in England there were four new stars: Adam’s in Birmingham; Ormer by Shaun Rankin in Jersey; The Samling in Cumbria; and Wilks in Bristol.

There were two new additions in Ireland: Campagne and Lady Helen both in Kilkenny, but no new stars in Scotland or Wales.

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon in London was demoted from two- to one-star status, while 10 establishments lost their stars most notably the Petersham Nurseries Café in Richmond, following the departure of chef Greg Malouf.

The results mean there are now 167 starred establishments in the UK and Ireland, including four with three stars; 21 with two stars; and 142 with one star.

Here are the additions and deletions of the 2014 Michelin guide to Great Britain and Ireland – you can also read the full set of Michelin stars here.

New three star restaurants:

New two-star restaurants:
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London
The Greenhouse, London

New one-star restaurants:

Ametsa with Arzak Instruction, Belgravia
Angler, City of London
Bo London, Mayfair
Brasserie Chavot, Mayfair
HKK, City of London
Lima, Fitzrovia
Outlaw at the Capital, Knightsbride
Social Eating House, Soho
Story, London Bridge

England and the Channel Islands:
Adam’s, Birmingham
Ormer by Shaun Rankin, Jersey
The Samling, Cumbria
Wilks, Bristol

Campagne, Kilkenny
Lady Helen, Kilkenny

L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, London (down from two to one star)

Devonshire Arms Country House Hotel, North Yorkshire (chef left)
Dining Room at Mallory Court Hotel, Leamington Spa
Hamborough, Isle of Wight (chef left)
Crown at Whitebrook,  Monmouthshire (closed)
Locks Brassserie, Dublin
Rhodes Twenty Four, London (closed)
North Road, Islington (closed)
Petersham Nurseries Café, Richmond (chef left)
Rhodes W1, London (closed)
Semplice, London (closed)

Video of Heston Blumenthal discussing his new book Historic Heston

In this promo video by Bloomsbury Publishing, three-Michelin-starred chef Heston Blumenthal unveils details of and photographs and illustrations from his eagerly anticipated book, Historic Heston.

The result of 12 years of research into historic British cooking, the book is a celebration of Britain’s gastronomic heritage, which at one point many years ago “was the envy of Europe”.

Historic Heston explores old British recipes going as far back as the 1300s by recreating and reinventing them, showcasing how the chef uses ancient recipes as inspiration for new, modern dishes.

“The gap between the old and new really makes the story,” Blumenthal reveals. “The book explains what was happening historically at the time and then it moves into the story of the development into the new dish.”

Blumenthal adds that the book is not designed for the home cook but instead it is about historic British cooking and the inspiration behind some of the dishes served at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, as well as The Fat Duck and the Hinds Head pub.

Historic Heston will be released on 10 October, priced £125/$200.

Tom Kerridge named AA Chefs’ Chef of the Year 2013

Tom KerridgeTom Kerridge has been named the AA’s Chefs’ Chef of the Year at the hotel and restaurant guide’s annual Hospitality Awards.

The chef-proprietor of the Hand & Flowers in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, the only two-Michelin-starred pub in the world, joins an elite group of chefs to have been honoured with the award, which is voted for only by AA Rosette holding chefs in the UK. Previous winners include Michel Roux, Heston Blumenthal, Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsay and Raymond Blanc.

Michel and Alain Roux’s three-Michelin-starred Waterside Inn in Bray, Berkshire, won the AA’s inaugural Food Service Award, which recognises restaurants that deliver excellent standards of service and hospitality.

The AA Restaurant of the Year awards went to The Artichoke in Amersham, Buckinghamshire for England; Medlar for London; Ondine in Edinburgh for Scotland; and Ye Olde Bulls Head in Beaumaris for Wales.

AA-2-rosette-logoThe AA also handed out new Rosettes, with the two-Michelin-starred Gidleigh Park in Devon and Midsummer House in Cambridge winning the top accolade of five AA Rosettes. The new awards bring the total of five AA Rosette restaurants in the UK to 11 – including Tom Aikens Restaurant, Hibiscus, Marcus Wareing at The Berkley and Sketch in London; as well as The Fat Duck in Bray, Berkshire; L’Enclume in Cartmel, Cumbria; Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire; Michael Wignall at The Latymer in Bagshot, Surrey; and Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms in Nottingham.

Meanwhile Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, Launceston Place and Murano, all in London; as well as the Hand and Flowers; L’Ortolan in Berkshire; and the Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore in Ireland picked up four AA Rosettes.

A total of 29 restaurants celebrated winning three Rosettes, including newcomers Eric Chavot’s Brasserie Chavot, Jason Atherton’s Social Eating House and Nathan Outlaw’s eponymous restaurant at the Capital in London; as well as The French by Simon Rogan in Manchester, and Pompadour by Galvin in Edinburgh.

The AA’s 2013 Hospitality Awards were announced at a ceremony at the London Hilton Park Lane and come just days before Michelin’s new stars will be unveiled on Thursday (26 September).

For the full list of AA awards and Rosettes, visit hospitality bible Caterer and Hotelkeeper.

Beneath the Whites – Margot Janse

Margot JanseMargot Janse is the executive chef of Le Quartier Francais, one of South Africa’s most prestigious hotels, located in Franschhoek in the Cape winelands. She runs the entire F&B operation at the five-star hotel, including the flagship Tasting Room, which has been named the best restaurant in Africa in the 2013 World’s 50 Best Restaurants. With no formal training, Janse is one of just 13 women in the world holding the title of Grand Chef, awarded by luxury hotel and restaurant consortium Relais & Châteaux.

What’s your earliest food memory?
My mother turning a plate of creamed spinach onto my head because I refused to open my mouth.

What’s your favourite smell?
Baking bread.

What’s your favourite cookbook?
I have too many and every month amazing ones come out. My first really special cookbook was Elizabeth David’s French Provincial Cooking. I bought it second hand years before I became a chef.

Who’s had the biggest influence on your cooking?
Thomas Keller.

What’s the worst thing that’s ever gone wrong during service?
We were cooking for our Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Blaisson with 60 guests in the restaurant. I decided to push the boat out a little with crumbed egg yolks served with asparagus and for dessert a proper passion fruit soufflé. Everybody thought I was crazy. We hired in extra ovens for the soufflés. Unfortunately they kept tripping the power, but after a while it seemed sorted. We started service and the egg yolks were meant to get a quick stint in the deep fryer. As we were about to do this we realised the whole fryer had blown. It was a bit stressful but we managed to make it happen. The soufflés – all 60 of them – came out amazing!

Have you ever kicked someone out of your restaurant?
No, but we have banned somebody from ever coming back. I do sometimes wonder where people get their manners and why they think it is ok to behave in obnoxious ways. But luckily we do not have these types of guests very often. And when we do we forget about them very quickly. They are just not worth the energy.

When are you happiest?
I have plenty of happy moments. Work related: when people get me and what we do and are touched by the experience at the Tasting Room; I’m happy with my team when we have a great day, with lots of laughter. Privately: on holiday with toes in the sand and nobody wanting anything from me.

What makes you sad?

What do you most dislike about yourself?
I do better under pressure, so tend to leave things until the last minute.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Doing nothing.

Foie gras – friend or foe?
I am ok with foie gras as long as I know where it came from. But I can also live without it.

Tea of coffee?
Both: coffee first thing in the morning and as a pick me up during the day. Earl Grey tea gets consumed in litres during winter.

Chocolate or cheese?
Cheese, cheese and more cheese.

What’s on your perfect sandwich?
Cheese and thick slices of ripe tomatoes.

Who would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?

Where did you have your best meal this year?
I had lunch and dinner at Massimo Bottura’s [three-Michelin-starred] Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy. It was amazing and incredibly inspiring.

If there was one restaurant you wish you’d opened, which would it be?
That little one on a beach, under palm trees where people sip on coconut cocktails and nibble on simple delicious food. Everybody is happy and stress is a swear word.

Who’s your favourite food critic?
I love reading AA Gill.

If you could travel in time, where would you go?
The Middle Ages, 1500/1600 and work in a kitchen in a castle. I’d love to see how they did it then.

Follow Margot Janse on Twitter @margotjanse

You can also read my profile piece of Margot Janse, published in Caterer and Hotelkeeper in August 2013.


London on verge of overtaking New York as most diverse dining destination, says Zagat

Zagat_London_2014London is on the verge of overtaking New York as the city with the most diverse restaurant scene, a new survey has claimed.

According to the 2014 Zagat London Restaurant Survey, the capital’s restaurant market has undergone a revolution in recent years that could see it nudge ahead of the Big Apple as the top dining destination in the world.

Tim Zagat, co-founder (with his wife Nina) of the Zagat restaurant guides, said: “In terms of diversity and depth of restaurants London passed Paris eight to ten years ago. I still think New York is ahead. I used to say New York was way ahead but I think London could pass New York soon, it is coming on strong.”

However, with the average restaurant bill in London at £37.35 a head, down 14% from last year’s £43.40, eating out in London remains more expensive than New York, where the average cost for a meal is $48.56 (£31).

The 2014 Zagat London Restaurant Survey, which covers 1,290 restaurants rated and reviewed by 10,271 diners, showed Londoners are eating out more than ever before at an average of 3.7 times a week, compared with 2.2 in 2012.

Honest_BurgersIt found that the arrival of burger joints such as Honest Burgers and meat shacks like Pitt Cue Co. has reduced the cost of high quality eating out in London, while at the same time highlighting a trend towards more informal dining.

Tim Zagat added: “There are more younger people looking for good food but not in in places with fancy decor and linen tablecloths. Eating out has become almost like eating in another room in a house, people are looking for a good meal but not looking to dress up.”

However, despite this trend towards informality, the Zagat Survey rated Michel and Alain Roux’s three-Michelin-starred Waterside Inn in Bray as the best restaurant in the wider London area both in terms of food and service.

Japanese restaurant Yashin Sushi in Kensington was named best for food in London, where the Ledbury was rated top for service. The Wolesley remained London’s most popular restaurant, beating Hakkasan, while barbeque restaurant Pitt Cue offers London’s best value meal for under £25, according to Zagat.

2014 Zagat London Restaurant Survey Awards:

Top Food:
1. The Waterside Inn
2. Yashin Sushi
3. Barrafina
4. Gauthier Soho
5. The Ledbury

Top Service:
1. Waterside Inn
2. The Ledbury
3. Le Gavroche
4. Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
5. Mosimann’s

Most Popular:
1. The Wolseley
2. Hakkasan
3. Hawksmoor
4. J. Sheekey
5. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

Best Buys (£25 or less):
1. Pitt Cue Co.
2. Honest Burgers
3. The Pepper Tree
4. Spice Village
5. Morito

Top Décor:
1. Sketch Lecture Room & Library
2. Sketch Parlour
3. The Ritz London
4. Mosimann’s
5. Bob Bob Ricard


Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume tops list of best UK restaurants in the 2014 Good Food Guide

Good-Food-Guide-2014Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume has been named the best restaurant in Britain by the Good Food Guide, knocking Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck off the top spot after five consecutive years.

The two-Michelin-starred restaurant in Cartmel, Cumbria has topped the 2014 edition of the country’s oldest restaurant guide, which is now owned by Waitrose, after scoring 10 out of 10 for the second year in a row. L’Enclume and the Fat Duck remain the only two restaurants in the Good Food Guide to have been awarded a perfect cooking score.

Elizabeth Carter, consultant editor of the Good Food Guide, said that despite the pressures of the past year – from opening the French at the Midland Hotel in Manchester to overseeing a pop-up restaurant in London – Rogan and his team have not missed a beat.

Simon_Rogan“Rogan rightfully takes his place as leader of the pack when it comes to modern British cooking. His fantastic way with seasonal ingredients from the Cumbrian land and coast brings dishes that are a joyful celebration of this county’s magnificent diversity. L’Enclume is truly deserving of the number one spot,” she said.

The list of the top 10 restaurants from last year’s Good Food Guide has remained unchanged in this year’s guide, although the order has moved around slightly, with Restaurant Nathan Outlaw in Cornwall jumping to third place from fifth; Restaurant Sat Bains dropping to fourth place from third; and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London falling from fourth to fifth place.

Jason Atherton’s Pollen Street Social in London has remained in sixth position; while Claude Bosi’s Hibiscus; Phil Howard’s The Square and Brett Graham’s The Ledbury, all in London, have each climbed one spot to place seventh, eighth and ninth respectively. Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Great Milton, Oxfordshire completes the top 10.

There are six new entries to the Good Food Guide’s top 50 this year: Simon Rogan’s The French in Manchester (12); Hélène Darroze at the Connaught in London (37); Freemasons at Wiswell in Lancashire (42); OX in Belfast (43); The Red Lion in East Chisenbury (45); and The Clove Club in London (48).

The top 50 includes restaurants from all around the UK but 43 are from England.

There are five Scottish restaurants listed in the top 50, with the two-Michelin-starred Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles placing the highest as 20th. The Kitchin (21), Restaurant Martin Wishart (26) and Castle Terrace (46), all in Edinburgh, and the Peat Inn in Fife (27) were also included.

Only one restaurant in Wales made the top 50 list: the Michelin-starred Tyddyn Llan in North Wales in 40th position; as well as one Northern Irish establishment: OX in Belfast in 43rd place.

The 2014 Good Food Guide top 50 UK restaurants with cooking score in brackets:

1. L’Enclume, Cartmel, Cumbria (10)
2. The Fat Duck, Bray, Berkshire (10)
3. Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Rock, Cornwall (9)
4. Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham (9)
5. Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, London (9)
6. Pollen Street Social, London (9)
7. Hibiscus, London (8)
8. The Square, London (8)
9. The Ledbury, London (8)
10. Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Great Milton, Oxfordshire (8)
11. Le Champignon Sauvage, Gloucestershire (8)
12. The French, Manchester (8)
13. Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley, London (8)
14. Midsummer House, Cambridgeshire (8)
15. Le Gavroche, London (8)
16. Whatley Manor, The Dining Room, Wiltshire (8)
17. Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, London (8)
18. The Waterside Inn, Berkshire (7)
19. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London (7)
20. Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles, Tayside (7)
21. The Kitchin, Edinburgh (7)
22. Pied-à-Terre, London (7)
23. Fraiche, Merseyside (7)
24. Gidleigh Park, Devon (7)
25. Michael Wignall at the Latymer, Surrey (7)
26. Restaurant Martin Wishart, Edinburgh (7)
27. Murano, London (7)
28. The Peat Inn, Fife (7)
29. Fischer’s Baslow Hall, Derbyshire (7)
30. Hambleton Hall, Rutland (7)
31. Artichoke, Buckinghamshire (7)
32. Paul Ainsworth at No. 6, Cornwall (7)
33. The Pass, West Sussex (7)
34. The Old Vicarage, Ridgeway, Derbyshire (7)
35. The Hand & Flowers, Buckinghamshire (6)
36. Mr Underhill’s, Shropshire (6)
37. Hélène Darroze at the Connaught, London (6)
38. Purnell’s, West Midlands (6)
39. The Sportsman, Kent (6)
40. Tyddyn Llan, Denbighshire (6)
41. The Yorke Arms, Ramsgill, North Yorkshire (6)
42. Freemasons at Wiswell, Lancashire (6)
43. OX, Belfast (6)
44. The Royal Oak, Paley Street, Berkshire (6)
45. The Red Lion, East Chisenbury, Wiltshire (6)
46. Castle Terrace, Edinburgh (6)
47. Simon Radley at the Chester Grosvenor, Cheshire (6)
48. The Clove Club, London (6)
49. The Box Tree, West Yorkshire (6)
50. Tuddenham Mill, Suffolk (6)