Andrew Pern is without a doubt one of the most influential chefs in Britain. He was amongst the first pioneers to put gastropubs on the culinary map, re-positioning the great British pub as a key player in the world of fine dining. So, where does a man with such extraordinary influence like to eat out? We caught up with the chef to find out his five favourite restaurants in the UK.
Andrew is the chef-owner of Michelin-starred The Star Inn at Harome, a revered gastropub with rooms serving top-level seasonal food on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors. Ever since he took over the site at the tender age of 25, the pub has received myriad culinary accolades. In 2002, it became the second pub in the world to receive a Michelin star, ultimately paving the way for a long line of exceptional gastropubs across the country. Despite losing the star in 2013, he went on to regain it a year later in 2014, and has retained the award ever since. Pern is also the Managing Director of The Star Inn The City (opened 2013), and has made various TV appearances over the years including on Great British Menu in 2011.
More recently, Andrew has turned his hand to a brand-new venture: York Minster Refectory. Opened in the summer of 2023, and set in a historic building overlooking York Cathedral, the restaurant serves seasonal dishes rooted in local Yorkshire produce, and offers new takes on old-fashioned British and French classics. Think Yorkshire venison with haunch and black pudding potato pressing, turnip and sauce ‘grand veneur’, and a ‘Minster Mess’ with Yorkshire strawberries, meringue, hay and vanilla creme and elderflower.
One of Andrew’s greatest successes is his unyielding ability to move with the times, while staying true to his classic cooking style. Needless to say, some of the chef's top UK restaurants are great British icons.
Le Gavroche, London
Andrew says: ‘I'm so sad Le Gavroche is closing soon after 56 years. The Roux brothers were my inspiration as a young chef at Catering College, and then entering the Roux Scholarship as a kid. The feeling of stepping downstairs into the luxurious restaurant is unmatched. Albert Roux once said to me, probably over 25 years ago now: "You will do well, you are an individual, you are not a sheep and are not following the flock". So far, so good!’
Where: 43 Upper Brook Street, W1K 7QR
Book now: Le Gavroche
The Ritz, London
Andrew says: ‘Another over-the-top indulgence hit, this amazing restaurant is headed up by northerner John Williams. The quality of food, the classic cuisine and the front of house service are definitely some of the best I’ve ever experienced in the UK. The Ritz is a place to immerse yourself in the history of one of the most famous dining rooms in the world.’
Where: 150 Piccadilly, W1J 9BR
Book now: The Ritz
The Kitchin, Edinburgh
Andrew says: ‘This is Tom Kitchin’s brilliantly snazzy Scottish restaurant in Leith. The ingredients span local game, foraged fungus, amazing seafood shellfish from the depths of the North Sea and west coast, and other Scottish specialities - all served with a nip of whisky if you wish. I love the tartan-clad restaurant staff!’
Where: 78 Commercial Quay, EH6 6LX
Book now: The Kitchin
Claude Bosi at Bibendum, London
Andrew says: ‘Claude Bosi has sprinkled a couple of Michelin stars on the dining room of the old Michelin building in Fulham. As a Michelin chef, it's like eating in a shrine of gastronomy, with the iconic stained-glass windows of the Michelin man looking down on you. The food is very French - think Chicken de Bresse, Brittany rabbit and turbot à la grenobloise. And the dark chocolate soufflé is legendary. Worthy of a third star sometime soon I think!’
Where: 81 Fulham Road, SW3 6RD
Book now: Claude Bosi at Bibendum
The Abbey Inn, York
Andrew says: ‘The latest venture from local lad chef Tommy Banks, and my new favourite place! The brilliant pub menu features much of its own home-produced meat, veg and herbs, along with locally foraged hedgerow produce and charcuterie made in-house. It’s an amazing setting, located directly opposite the ruins of Byland Abbey, and both the service and menu are top class. Snacks and specials run alongside the main menu, and there are great ice cream sundaes for pudding - think douglas fir with lemon verbena and white chocolate, or strawberry and sweet cicely 'Eton Mess'. Finish off with one of its Byland liqueurs or a Yorkshire tea. What’s not to like about this place? Another star act.’
Where: Byland, York, YO61 4BD
Book now: The Abbey Inn
Keen to explore more of our chef profiles? We asked Jeremy Lee and John Chantarasak about their favourite restaurants right now.