Michelin Guide 2014: Chefs celebrate new stars

By Emma Eversham & Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

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(Top-left to bottom-right): Ametsa, Social Eating House, Outlaw's at the Capital and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal were all triumphant this year
(Top-left to bottom-right): Ametsa, Social Eating House, Outlaw's at the Capital and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal were all triumphant this year
With Michelin upgrading two restaurants to two-star status and awarding 15 restaurants with their first star, BigHospitality has caught up with some of the chefs who are celebrating their awards in the Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2014.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and the Greenhouse, both in London, were this year’s two-star winners,with the new one-star establishments including Ametsa, Angler, Bo London, Brasserie Chavot, HKK, Lima, Outlaw’s at the Capital, Social Eating House and Story - all in the capital. On a more negative note, L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon lost its second star this year.

Michelin also awarded a Bib Gourmand (for value dining) to 27 restaurants, with new London winners including A Wong, Del Mercato, Green Man & French Horn, Gail’s Kitchen, Grain Store, Honey & Co and Polpo Smithfield.

  • Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

"It's absolutely brilliant, said Blumenthal. "I am overjoyed. It’s great news for Ashley (Palmer-Watts) and the whole team. It’s been an incredible two-and-a-half years for Dinner and this is just simply the highlight. 

"As a Brit, I am very proud that a restaurant inspired by and celebrating historic British cooking has been recognised today." 

Dinner's executive chef Palmer-Watts added: "We’re cooking for nearly 300 people a day seven days a week 365 days a year. We never thought we’d achieve two stars. I’m going to go out on my bikes for a couple of hours and have a think about it all but we’re clearly over the moon.

"Since starting at the Fat Duck in 1999 (the year the Bray restaurant was awarded its first star) we’ve always done the same thing: we concentrate on what we do, cook the food we want to eat, and make sure the service is good. And what comes comes. As far as I understand, Michelin stars are about cooking. The formality doesn’t really come into it. There’s much more diversity now: different styles, different atmosphere, different occasions.”

  • The Greenhouse

The Greenhouse is described by Michelin as a restaurant that 'showcases Arnaud Bignon’s technically impressive and innovative cooking'. Bignon took the helm in March 2011, replacing Antonin Bonnet who spent six years in the role.

Today, the chef said: “I am so happy for the whole team at The Greenhouse who have been with me for the last one and a half years. We are thrilled that our dedication to food and service excellence continues to be recognised. On days like this it goes to show that no detail is inconsequential, no menu is too carefully planned, no ingredient too obsessively sourced, and no guest too lovingly served."

  • Adam’s

Adam Stokes, chef-patron said: “It’s fantastic, I’m so excited. We opened in April, so it has been great to get a star so soon. With it being our own restaurant we had to hit the ground running, but we ensured we had everything in place and have been consistent from the off, so it is great that Michelin has recognised our hard work. We already have three restaurants in Birmingham with Michelin stars so this will help put the city firmly on the map as a culinary destination. “

  • Ormer

Shaun Rankin, chef-patron of Ormer in St Helier, Jersey, said he was 'over the moon' to receive a Michelin star so soon after opening. 

He said: "For us to open in May and get a Michelin star four months later is an incredible achievement and a testament to the determination of the team and partners in this venture to make this a success. The Michelin inspectors noted our dedication to seasonal island produce and an unfussy approach to quality dining which is paramount to us. We are thrilled with the result and hope it again highlights Jersey’s strength as a culinary destination.”

  • Story

Ex-Noma chef Tom Sellers, the 25-year-old British chef who has worked with Tom Aikens, Thomas Keller and Rene Redzepi, finally opened his long-awaited first restaurant in Bermondsey in April.

On receiving a first star, Sellers said: "I wasn't expecting it. I knew the Guide was coming out and a Michelin star is something that every chef dreams about, so it's something that I've always strived for. When the news broke it was a magical moment for me - I've worked my whole life for this. 

"It's a lifetime of hard work and dedication," added Sellers. "I'm just so proud of all the staff here at the restaurant for what we've achieved in such a short space of time. Our goal here is to create the best food experience that we possibly can. 

"For us it's great in terms of profile and business. That's one thing that Michelin instantly does, the impact that it has on the business is always positive and we're hoping for a good response here. We want to push things forward and accolades like this will only help."

  • Ametsa With Arzak Instruction

Elena Arzak, joint head chef with her father Juan Mari at their restaurant Arzak in Spain, opened this Basque restaurant in London in March,​replacing David Thompson at the Halkin Hotel.

Arzak said: “We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded three Rosettes in the 2014 AA Restaurant Guide as well as a Michelin star in the space of just one week.

“Both awards highlight exceptional standards in food and service within the hospitality industry, and Ametsa is extremely proud to have been accredited with such widely renowned and highly esteemed accolades.”

  • Brasserie Chavot

"Everybody has worked very, very hard here," said Eric Chavot. The Frenchman returned to the UK from his two-year stint in America to launch his own restaurant – Brasserie Chavot​– adjacent to the Westbury Hotel in Mayfair earlier this year.

"This has been totally different experience for me since my last time in London at the Capital Hotel," he added. "I wasn't going for a star, I was just focusing on the opening - we've only been here for six months. We were awarded three rosettes on Monday​and that was nice enough.

"I actually totally forgot the Michelin Guide was out today, but then this morning the phone was going crazy," Chavot added. "Tom Kerridge messaged me this morning, calling me a 'legend' and I've had various other messages of support which is fantastic.

"For me, Michelin represents a standard of quality. But you don't work for it. You go to work for your team, for your guests, for the business. You put your heart on a plate, and if Michelin gives you a star, you say 'thank you' and carry on."

  • Social Eating House

Two years after launching Pollen Street Social, Jason Atherton recently brought two new restaurants to the capital. The largest of the two was Social Eating House, a partnership with former Pollen Street Social head chef Paul Hood.

After earning a first star so quickly, Atherton said: "I am so proud of the team at Social Eating House. Paul was my head chef for so many years and now he has his own restaurant he has proved in record time what a class chef he is. The team have worked so hard to create a real, class restaurant. We are now going to celebrate with a glass of Champagne."

Hood added: “We are so incredibly happy and proud. The team have worked so hard this last five months to achieve this and will continue to work hard to keep this.” 

  • Nathan Outlaw at The Capital

In October last year, chef Nathan Outlaw, who already holds two stars, opened his first London restaurant when he fully launched a 50-cover restaurant in the refurbished dining rooms of The Capital hotel in Knightsbridge.

"I didn't want to do a fine-dining restaurant though and that's what The Capital has always been about, so I didn't expect David to say 'yes' when I said I wanted to do something simpler," Outlaw said ahead of the opening. 

After hearing the results today, he said: "It's been a tough day but hopefully now it will be a bit easier. A lot of it's been down to Pete Biggs (head chef) and Sharon MacArthur (restaurant manager). They've kept the ship running smoothly.

"It's always a risk coming out of Cornwall into a big city but I'm just chuffed that I've been able to put a star back at The Capital, which has had Michelin stars ince the early 70s."

Nathan Outlaw at The Capital was originally designed to serve 'simply prepared' seafood dishes by head chef and long-time Outlaw associate Peter Biggs alongside grilled menu options. However since the opening the focus has been switched away from a 'casual' offering to focus on the seafood element.

But it seems to have paid off, with the restaurant becoming one of only two fish-focused restaurants to achieve a star this year.

  • Lima

This Peruvian restaurant opened in the ever-popular Fitzrovia neighbourhood last year.​The restaurant's managing director Gabriel Gonzalez said: "A Michelin star is an incredible accomplishment. I am so proud of Robert Ortiz and the team at LIMA who work to exceptional standards at every service.

"This really is a testament to all of our hard work this year. To be the first first Peruvian restaurant to achieve a star in UK and Europe is a huge accolade.” 

  • Campagne

Garrett Byrne and Brid Hannon opened Campagne in 2008, serving modern French food using the very best of local and Irish produce. The restaurant was one of two in the Republic of Ireland to receive a first Michelin star.

  • Angler

Angler seafood restaurant sits at the top of South Place Hotel, between Moorgate and Liverpool Street in London. Hearing today's news, Angler's head chef Tony Fleming said a Michelin star is 'the pinnacle of achievement for any chef'. 

"I believe it is consistency that has led to us winning a star within a year of opening," said Fleming. "I am so proud of our team who work tirelessly to uphold this culinary standard of excellence.

"This is undeniably one of the best days of my career. It’s also my daughter Louisa’s 10th birthday today and I can’t wait to celebrate with my talented team and loving family.”

The paper version of the Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2014 will be available in bookshops from 4 October 2013, priced at £15.99. It is also published on the same day is the Michelin Guide London 2014, priced at £11.99.

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