Both Rogan and Outlaw retain their ‘perfect’ cooking score of 10/10.
“Nathan Outlaw’s food is characterised by the absolute freshness of ingredients and a clear sense of purpose. He has done an enormous amount to educate and encourage the public appetite for fish, driven by his supply of impeccably fine ingredients and a special talent for creating unique and thrilling fish dishes,” says guide editor Elizabeth Carter.
Claude Bosi’s Bibendum, in London, and Mark Birchall's Moor Hall are the only 2017 launches to make the Waitrose-published guide’s top 50 list, entering at number 9 and number 26 respectively. Jason Atherton’s Pollen Street Social remains the capital’s top-ranked restaurant at number three.
2018 is another poor year for pubs, with just two on the list. North Kent’s The Sportsman - which was named the UK’s best restaurant in Restaurant magazine’s Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards early this year - is ranked 41 and the Freemasons at Wiswell, Lancashire, is ranked at 44.
Peter Sanchez-Iglesias from Casamia in Bristol, whose restaurant also climbs from no.27 (in the top 50) last year to number 10 this year was named Chef of the Year.
This coincides with Bristol also being host to the highest number of new entries of any city outside of London.
“It seems fitting that such a vibrant foodie hotspot as Bristol should supply our latest Chef of the Year, though Peter Sanchez-Iglesias is no stranger to Good Food Guide awards. With his brother, Jonray, Peter picked up Best Up and Coming Chef(s) award in 2008 and they were joint Chef(s) of the Year in 2015, winning the award shortly before Jonray’s tragic death at the age of 32. Now solo in the kitchen, Peter has emerged as a serious reputation maker in his own right – and the new look Casamia has won all our hearts,” says Carter.
The Chef to Watch has been award to Ben Crittenden, from Stark, located in Broadstairs, Kent. His tiny 12-seater restaurant only has a galley kitchen tucked in the corner but serves a "well-prepared" six-course tasting menu. The restaurant is so small it doesn’t yet have a loo, but a friendly landlady from the pub up the road welcomes Stark’s diners.
The guide also notes that readers have complained that restaurants are getting noisier, with music “played at Glastonbury force” increasingly spoiling the dining experience.
Carter also believes that some establishments need to up their small plates game. “Small plates are frequently not designed to be shared. Why the reduction in size if more than one person is supposed to be eating it? If plates are for sharing, there ought to be more, not less, food – after all, a dish featuring a fried egg is best tackled by a solo diner,” she says. “Moreover, these plates often come out in a random, inhospitable manner. As customers, we have let this weak formula go unchallenged for too long.”
The full guide will be published on 4 September.
The Waitrose Good Food Guide Top 50 List
1 Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Cornwall
2 L’Enclume, Cumbria
3 Pollen Street Social, London
4 Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottinghamshire
5 The Fat Duck, Berkshire
6 Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, London
7 Hedone, London
8 Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, Perthshire & Kinross
9 Claude Bosi at Bibendum, London
10 Casamia, Bristol
11 Bohemia, Jersey
12 Ynyshir, Powys
13 Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London
14 Fraiche, Merseyside
15 Marcus, London
16 Le Champignon Sauvage, Gloucestershire
17 Adam Reid at The French, Greater Manchester
18 The Ledbury, London
19 André Garrett at Cliveden, Berkshire
20 Midsummer House, Cambridgeshire
21 Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, London
22 The Peat Inn, Fife
23 The Kitchin, Lothians
24 Sketch, Lecture Room & Library, London
25 The Three Chimneys, Highlands & Islands
26 Moor Hall, Lancashire
27 The Greenhouse, London
28 The Ritz, London
29 Castle Terrace, Lothians
30 Forest Side, Cumbria
31 Orwells, Oxfordshire
32 Paul Ainsworth at No. 6, Cornwall
33 Restaurant Marianne, London
34 The Waterside Inn, Berkshire
35 Restaurant James Sommerin, Glamorgan
36 Artichoke, Buckinghamshire
37 The Raby Hunt, Co Durham
38 Whatley Manor, The Dining Room, Wiltshire
39 Restaurant Story, London
40 Simpsons, West Midlands
41 Restaurant Martin Wishart, Lothians
42 The Sportsman, Kent
43 Adam’s, West Midlands
44 Freemasons at Wiswell, Lancashire
45 Gidleigh Park, Devon
46 Le Gavroche, London
47 Hambleton Hall, Rutland
48 Murano, London
49 The Whitebrook, Monmouthshire
50 The Man Behind the Curtain, West Yorkshire