TWO pubs have been awarded Michelin stars in the new guide for Great Britain and Ireland.
The Sportsman in Seasalter, Kent achieved one star while the Goose in Britwell Salome, Oxfordshire regained the star it lost in the 2007 guide.
According to Michelin one star indicates "a very good restaurant in its category".
Stars reflect "what`s on the plate and only what`s on the plate," meaning pubs and restaurants are judged only on the quality of food.
Stars are awarded according to five criteria: the quality of ingredients, the skill in their preparation, the combination of flavours, the levels of creativity, the value for money and the consistency of culinary standards.
Brothers Stephen and Philip Harris took over the Shepherd Neame owned Sportsman in November 1999.
The Sportsman has two menus – the first is chalked up on the board and is changed daily depending on the ingredients that come from the farms, boats and game dealers.
The second is a tasting menu which has small dishes which include classics and new ideas.
Dishes on the menu include Whitstable native oysters, pear, roquefort and walnut salad, mussel and bacon chowder, smoked mackerel, horseradish and soda bread, Monkshill Farm pork belly and apple sauce, slow baked organic salmon fillet with a smoked herring roe sauce and pear ice lolly, ginger cake-milk and Moscow Mule foam.
Head chef at the Goose is former Roux Scholarship winner Matthew Tomkinson. The pub had a Michelin star for two years under former chef-patron Mike North who left in March 2006.
North`s new pub – the Nut Tree in Murcott, Oxfordshire – is named as one of the Rising Stars of 2008 in the Guide and tipped to be awarded a star next year.
The Wheatsheaf in Bath, Somerset is also named in the Rising Star list.
Two pubs lost their stars – the Greyhound in Stockbridge, Hampshire and the Trouble House in Tetbury, Gloucestershire.
Former Trouble House chef-owner Michael Bedford recently moved from the pub to open a deli called the Chef`s Table in Tetbury.
Ten pubs were awarded Bib Gourmands including Gordon Ramsey`s pub – the Narrow in Limehouse, London.
Bib Gourmands were awarded to:
•Pipe and Glass Inn, Beverley, East Riding
•The Royal Oak, Paley Street, Berkshire
•Ginger Pig, Brighton, East Sussex
•The Mason Arms, Chipping Norton, Oxon
•The Gin Trap Inn, Hunstanton, Norfolk
•The Druid Inn, Matlock, Derbyshire
•The White Bull, Ribchester, Lancashire
•The Three Horseshoes Inn, Stokenchurch, Bucks
•The Brown Dog, Barnes, Surrey
•The Narrow, Tower Hamlets, London
Five pubs also lost their Bib Gourmands. They were:
•The Dove, Faversham, Kent
•The Roasted Pepper, Husthwaite, North Yorks
•Snooty Fox, Lowick, Northants
•The Jackson Stops Inn, Stamford, Lincolnshire
•The Captain`s Table, Woodbridge, Suffolk
In total, there were 15 new one star venues and 33 new Bib Gourmands. There are now seven Michelin starred pubs in Britain.
Guide editor Derek Bulmer said: “Informal dining, greater use of locally grown produce and seasonality are the trends evident in this year’s guide.
"Customers are demanding more information about food provenance and sustainability, and chefs are responding by rediscovering local ingredients.“