British chefs and restaurants dominated the winners’ list at the London Restaurant Awards last night.
Chef Rowley Leigh and restaurateur Michael Belben were the biggest winners of the night, each scooping two awards.
Leigh picked up the aAIM London Restaurant of the Year and New Restaurant of the Year for le CafT Anglais while Belben, recognised as the founder of gastropub dining, walked away with Restaurateur of the Year and British Restaurant of the Year for his latest venture Great Queen Street.
Michelin starred The Greenhouse also claimed two awards winning Outstanding Restaurant Service and the Award of Excellence, recognising restaurants for special occasions while Maze Executive Chef Jason Atherton (pictured) beat the five other British nominees for the Outstanding London Chef title.
Although nominated for three awards, Mark Hix failed to pick up any of them. He didn`t go home empty-handed, however, the judges decided to honour him with the Outstanding Contribution to London Restaurants award.
Evening Standard food critic Fay Maschler, chair of the judging panel, said: "The winners this year - and the shortlisted restaurants - reflect a new dignity, maturity and appropriateness in what is happening in London restaurants.
"Eating out has become part of the fabric of life and as such needn`t, and shouldn`t, always be regarded as a special occasion. The restaurant that can deliver delight at a modest level is just as much a place to cherish as a temple of haute cuisine. The fact that so many of our winning chefs and restaurateurs are British born and bred gives a lot of hope for the future."
The London Restaurant Awards returned to London`s Grosvenor House hotel last night after a two-year break.
The winners are:
British Restaurant of the Year - Great Queen Street
French Restaurant of the Year - Galvin Bistrot de Luxe
Italian Restaurant of the Year - Theo Randall at the InterContinental
Iberian Restaurant of the Year - Barrafina
Oriental Restaurant of the Year - Aaya
Indian restaurant of the Year - Tayyabs
Local Restaurant of the Year - Market
Award of Excellence - The Greenhouse
New Restaurant of the Year - Le CafT Anglais
Toptable.com Best Business Lunch - The Wolseley
Outstanding London Chef - Jason Atherton
Restaurateur of the Year - Michael Belben
Outstanding Restaurant Service - The Greenhouse
Outstanding Contribution to London Restaurants - †Mark Hix
aAIM London Restaurant of the Year - Le Caf™ Anglais
Best Restaurant Chain - Carluccios
Evening Standard 60 under £60 award - Sam’s Bar and Brasserie
Top 10 Restaurants Outside London (alphabetical order)
Le Champignon Sauvage
The Fat Duck
Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons
Restaurant Sat Bains
The Waterside Inn