Food & Drinks

Britain Regains Fourth 3-Michelin-Star Restaurant, Adds a 2-Star Winner

Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck returns to the top tier

Heston Blumenthal of the Fat Duck at the Michelin event with his chefs, Jonny Lake and Ashley Palmer-Watts.

Photographer: Richard Vines/Bloomberg

Michelin announced its U.K. restaurant stars with a glitzy live ceremony in London for the first time in the history of the guide, which traces its history to 1900.

Chefs were called up on stage before an invited audience to pose with outsize stars presented by Michael Ellis, international director of the guides. So much for the fireworks. The awards themselves were more underwhelming.

There were no new three-star restaurants, unless you count the Fat Duck, whose top status was suspended last year while chef Heston Blumenthal's restaurant temporarily relocated to Melbourne. That leaves the U.K. with just four top-rated establishments, including Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester; Gordon Ramsay; and the Waterside Inn.

The last time a new three-star was named was in 2010. That was Alain Ducasse. There are about two-dozen top-tier restaurants in France and more in Japan.

The U.K. two-star ranks were swelled by the addition of Raby Hunt, in Darlington.

Which leaves the new one stars. They included seven in London: The Ninth; Ellory, Five Fields; Trinity; Céleste; Veeraswamy; and Ritz Restaurant. Launceston Place, Wild Honey and L'Autre Pied were among establishments that lost their stars.

Chef John Williams has waited years for his star at the Ritz, but not as long as Veeraswamy, which opened in 1926. Clare Smyth, who was in charge at Gordon Ramsay and now plans to open her own restaurant, was named best female chef.

A total of 18 new one-star establishments were revealed, including two pubs: The Wild Rabbit, in Oxfordshire; and the Crown at Burchetts Green, in Berkshire.

Bib Gourmand awards, representing value for money, went to Barbary; Charlotte's W5; Legs; Primeur; Bellanger; Upstairs (at Trinity); Padella; Marksman; Paradise Garage; Gunpowder; Foley's; Newman Arms; Bao; Hoppers; and Vico.

The U.K. guide is among the earliest in the Michelin cycle of announcements, with Japan, the U.S. and France scheduled in coming months. 

Three stars mean exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey; two are for excellent cooking, worth a detour; one denotes a very good restaurant in its category.

Richard Vines is chief food critic at Bloomberg. Follow him on Twitter @richardvines and Instagram @richard.vines.

 

 

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