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Fifteen restaurants – including nine London establishments – received their first Michelin star today, as the tyre manufacturer unveiled the 2014 issue of its coveted red book, with two more rising from one to two stars.
London restaurants to gain a star included a number of recent additions to the capital’s dining scene – among them Tom Seller’s Restaurant Story (pictured right and below left), which opened in Bermondsey only five months ago, and has been enjoying rave reviews almost across the board ever since.
The young chef, who was 25 when he opened Story – his first solo venture – but had already racked up experience at Noma, Per Se and Tom Aikens, was delighted with his achievement.
‘I am completely overwhelmed and humbled to receive a Michelin star this morning,’ he said. ‘Since opening Story in Bermondsey, my team and I have strived to cook the best food we can and it is truly an honour to be rewarded in this way.’
Sellers also gave credit to his tight-knit team, saying: ‘My head chef Nathan Green and the whole team at Story have all worked incredibly hard to get us here, and I hope this is only the beginning of a very rewarding journey.’
Other winners were Jason Atherton’s Social Eating House (pictured, right, the second of three new openings for the chef this year); Fitrovia Peruvian Lima (a sibling to chef Virgilio Martinez’s Lima-based restaurant Central); Knightsbridge hotel restaurants Outlaw’s at The Capital and Ametsa with Arzak Instruction (a spin-off of three-Michelin-starred Arzak in San Sebastián); and Brasserie Chavot and Bo London (a sibling to Hong Kong’s two-starred Bo Innovation), both in Mayfair. Upmarket Chinese HKK joined its siblings Hakkasan and Yauatcha in the Michelin hall of fame. Finally, another City newcomer, seafood restaurant Angler, was awarded a star – joining its sibling Launceston Place as a flagship destination for operators D&D London.
‘This is just incredible news and an amazing achievement for the entire team,’ said Palmer-Watts. ‘Everyone works so hard every day and myself and Heston are so proud of each and every one of them. I am just blown away.’
Outside London, six restaurants gained a Michelin star, while Bib Gourmands were awarded to 27 establishments throughout the UK offering good-value food that is a cut above. Recipients of the red gong outside London included Shaun Rankin’s Jersey restaurant Ormer, Adam’s Restaurant in Birmingham, neighbourhood restaurant Wilks, in Bristol, and Campagne, a modern bistro in Kilkenny, Ireland.
Eight Bib Gourmands winners within the capital included Bruno Loubet’s Grain Store (pictured, right), which launched this summer, Picture – another very recent addition to London’s dining scene – Russell Norman’s Polpo Smithfield, and Terroirs sibling Green Man & French Horn.
Michelin-recognised chefs took to Twitter this morning to celebrate. Nathan Outlaw – who has been overseeing his Cornwall restaurants, including his two-Michelin-starred flagship in Rock, while commuting to London every week to oversee Outlaw’s at The Capital – joked, ‘Those 104 train journeys have been worth it! Not like I'm counting...’. Brasserie Chavot – which opened only six months ago, marking the return of the superstar chef to the capital – tweeted its achievement with a ‘Go team!’, while Ormer chef-patron Shaun Rankin tweeted, ‘Proud of the Ormer team for our first Michelin star,’ and congratulated his peers.
Square Meal’s editor Ben McCormack was pleased with the number of new Michelin stars, but questioned the lack of three-star recognition on the fine-dining scene this year.
‘Michelin likes to reward chefs and operations with previous form that, if you like, are part of the Michelin family – hence the nods for Atherton and Outlaw, as well as Ametsa (pictured, left), The Greenhouse and HKK,’ he said. ‘While it’s heartening that they’ve taken note of bright new talents such as Tom Sellers at Story, the lack of movement at three-star level is hard to fathom – The Square, Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley and The Ledbury to my mind give experiences every bit as assured as Alain Ducasse and Gordon Ramsay.’
However, Rebecca Burr, editor of The Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2014, was keen to focus on the new talent and openings currently flooding the London dining scene.
‘The Michelin guide has always reflected what’s out there and London in particular has never offered so much choice – there really is something for everyone and for every occasion and there appears to be no end to the number of exciting new restaurant openings,’ she said. ‘We’re also delighted to witness the rise of the next generation of talented British chefs and the continued evolution of British cooking.’