Michelin Guide 2016: Chefs react to new stars

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Michelin Guide 2016: Chefs react to new stars

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Following Michelin UK’s surprise early announcement upgrading two new restaurants to Two Star status, and awarding 15 new restaurants their first star, BigHospitality caught up with some of the newly Michelin-starred chefs as they begun celebrations.


James Lowe, head chef at Lyles, was celebrating the restaurant gaining its first star from Mexico City.

He said: "Tacos and tequila for breakfast to celebrate! I might never come back! In all seriousness though, a massive thanks to all those who’ve worked at the restaurant and have helped in this achievement.

“I’m currently getting ready for a dinner I’m doing in Mexico City and am most proud that I’m able to do something like this away from the restaurant. Thanks to such an amazing team in London. Lots of love and tacos from Mexico City."


Ex-Hedone chef Tom Kemble said winning One Star for his restaurant Bonhams was ‘the most exciting day of my life’.

"It has been my dream to run my own restaurant, win a star and, most importantly, to have the hard work of the team acknowledged by such a prestigious institution," he said.

"It’s been hugely rewarding and exciting to watch the restaurant grow as word has got round. I was determined to build sustainably. Now I am looking forward to what we can achieve in the next six months and beyond.”

House of Tides

“Yesterday was a surreal day when we heard,” said chef-owner Kenny Atkinson, whose restaurant House of Tides gained its first star.

“It was overwhelming, amazing. Last time I had a Michelin star was in 2009 at Seaham Hall, but it feels a lot sweeter now because it’s something we’ve done with our own money.

“We took a great risk when we took over this old Grade I listed building in Newcastle and have put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into turning it into a restaurant, so to gain a star in 18 months is amazing.

“We’ve had a lot of love this year, with awards like the National Restaurant Awards where we came 62nd​ and being voted 46th​ best restaurant outside London by Square Meal. Gaining a Michelin star is the icing on the cake. “


Mayfair Japanese restaurant Umu joined the Two-Star club after Michelin tweeted that 'chef Yoshinori Ishii has taken the food to a new level'.

Ishii said: "The tweet came in the middle of our lunch service so I had to remained focused on my customers but the first thing I thought was all the people we had to thank, our fishermen, farmers, hunters, suppliers and my very special team.” 

Marlon Abela, owner of the MARC restaurant group which includes Umu and Mayfair's The Greenhouse, said: “It is through the team’s endless passion over the last 10 years and our relationships with Cornish fisherman that Umu has been able to achieve such an accomplishment.”

The Man Behind The Curtain

In Leeds chef Michael O'Hare was celebrating his first Michelin Star for The Man Behind The Curtain with his former Great British Menu rival Tim Allen.

Launceston Place - which Allen departed this week after four years - held on to its star for another year.

The Greenhouse

Dublin's The Greenhouse received its first star, with Michelin tweeting that 'the time was finally right' for the restaurant. Head chef Mickael Viljanen tweeted:

Michelin ​also sought to clarify some of its decisions:

Michelin also awarded 25 new Bib Gourmands​ across England, Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Related topics: Events & Awards, People, Restaurants, Hotels

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