Michelin Guide 2012: The winners’ reactions

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Michelin star, Michelin guide, Michelin

The Michelin Guide is arguably the most revered restaurant guide among chefs, restaurant critics and guests
The Michelin Guide is arguably the most revered restaurant guide among chefs, restaurant critics and guests
Following yesterday’s release of the Michelin Guide for Great Britain and Ireland 2012, some of the restaurateurs that have been awarded Michelin stars, including The Pass, Coworth Park, the Sir Charles Napier and The Hand & Flowers, have revealed just how much it means to them.

The Pass restaurant at South Lodge Hotel in Horsham, Sussex, was awarded its first Michelin star. Head chef Matt Gillan said: “I feel truly honoured. To be awarded a Michelin star is a remarkable achievement.”

The Pass opened in November 2008 following a multi-million-pound investment programme. It was awarded three AA rosettes three months after opening.

“I am immensely proud of the team,” added Gillan. The Michelin star just goes to show that hard work does pay off.”

Recently opened

Another restaurant to have won its first star was the recently-opened John Campbell at Coworth Park. John Campbell joined the restaurant in 2009 from The Vineyard at Stockcross where he previously held two Michelin stars.

“I’m delighted that the new restaurant has been so well received,” said Campbell. “I’m thrilled to be back in the Michelin guide book. Joining Coworth Park was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of the creation and development of a new benchmark in the UK for country house hotels.”

Edinburgh's Castle Terrace chef-patron Dominic Jack is also celebrating his first star alongside two other Scottish restaurants - Glenapp Castle and Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond.

Despite only opening just over a year ago, Castle Terrace was tipped by Michelin as a Rising Star earlier this year and, like Coworth Park, the restaurant is thrilled to be celebrating receiving a star so soon after establishing itself in the industry.

Jack said: “It has been an unbelievable first year and every day we learn and progress. I’ve imagined what it must feel like to hold a Michelin star since my early days working in some of the top Michelin restaurants in Paris so it’s incredibly rewarding to have received this recognition. The entire team here at Castle Terrace is overjoyed with the news.

Shock and jubilation

Chris Godfrey is the head chef at Sir Charles Napier restaurant in Oxfordshire, which was also awarded its first star. Godfrey revealed his shock and jubilation upon hearing the good news.

“We couldn’t believe it,” he told BigHospitality. “We had no idea. The first call was from a fellow restaurateur to say congratulations and I was just like ‘wow!”

He went on to explain that the restaurant’s success is attributed to collective hard work and the initiative of proprietor Julie Griffiths.

“Anyone who works in this industry knows that you need to work hard to be successful. Julie’s built this place up from the ground. Receiving this Michelin star is a massive well done to her.”

Second stars

Michelin also awarded Restaurant Sat Bains and the Hand & Flowers second stars​.Tom Kerridge, chef patron at The Hand & Flowers, the first pub in the world to be awarded two stars, said: "I am overwhelmingly amazed at this fantastic achievement for great British pubs. I am delighted for every single member of staff that works here who share in my vision and my belief and care and love this pub as much as I do."

Meanwhile, Scottish chef Martin Wishart ​was awarded a Michelin star for his restaurant Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond. Having won a star at Restaurant Martin Wishart in Leith 10 years ago, it is the first time a Scottish chef has held a Michelin Star for two separate properties.

“We are extremely happy with today’s award,” Wishart said. “I think this is great for the restaurant industry in Scotland, raising the reputation of Scottish cuisine to include the west.”

See the reactions of three chefs as they heard the news of their awards in this video produced for Michelin:

The Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2012 is available in bookshops, priced at £14.99.

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