Restaurants that rose to face the challenges during
Two female chefs were the standout winners of the Michelin Guide for Great Britain and Ireland, which were announced via an online ceremony hosted by Davina McCall on Monday night.
It is another accolade for the Northern Irish chef, who previously received the World’s Best Female Chef award and was the first and only female chef to run a restaurant with three Michelin stars in the UK, at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay.
And Hélène Darroze was also recognised among the ‘crème de la crème of the world of gastronomy’ with a third star for The Connaught in Mayfair, central London.
London, which only gained four new one-star restaurants last year, dominated the guide this year, taking thirteen of the 20 new stars given out.
Clare Smyth saw her Notting Hill restaurant Core go from two to three stars in this year’s Michelin Guide
Left, Hélène Darroze was also recognised with a third star for The Connaught in Mayfair, central London. Tommy Banks, who runs the Black Swan in Oldstead, North Yorkshire, and Roots in York, also won a star
Tom Aikens was also awarded one Michelin star for Muse, a 25 cover converted Georgian townhouse in Belgravia – which opened last January, just two months before the country was plunged into lockdown
What do the stars mean?
High quality cooking, worth a stop
Excellent cooking, worth a detour
Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey
A Bib Gourmand is awarded to restaurants deemed to be both good quality and good value by Michelin’s team of inspectors, with those listed having a menu that serves three courses for £28 or under
Clare Smyth, who is originally from Northern Ireland, was widely touted to get the third star last year but missed out, with only Instagram-friendly sketch in Mayfair wining the award.
Judges hailed Smyth – whose dishes include Isle of Mull scallop tartare with sea vegetable consommé and Highland Wagyu beef and Porthilly oysters – as ‘one of Great Britain’s most gifted chefs’.
The judges added: ‘It’s not just the food that makes a restaurant and, at Core, Clare Smyth really focuses on the whole experience.
‘From the moment you arrive, Clare’s superb service team put you at ease with their warm welcome and natural pride.’
Her Core at Home menu costs £175 per person, with a minimum two-person order and features her signatures dishes such as Caviar Gougere and Colchester crab tart, and Rhug Estate fallow deer with celeriac and black Perigord truffle.
Smyth has previously spoken out about sexism in the industry, saying it was ‘strange’ that there were still separate awards for male and female chefs.
Meanwhile French chef Hélène Darroze met the pandemic head-on when she launched a luxurious five-course New Year’s Eve takeaway menu which cost £295 for two, with a caviar starter for an extra £85.
Seven courses cost £465, making it perhaps the most expensive takeaway in the country.
Her restaurant, The Connaught, had only just reopened at the start of 2020 following a refurbishment, before it was forced to pull down the shutters.
Darroze, was visibly shocked when getting her award, swearing in French: ‘Putain…. I don’t what to say…’
Judges praised her dishes, which include Westcombe ricotta, Ardi Gasna, voatsiperifery pepper and onion consommé.
Tom Aikens was also awarded one Michelin star for Muse, a 25 cover, converted Georgian townhouse in Belgravia – which opened last January, just two months before the country was plunged into lockdown.
During the pandemic he launched Musette, a £98 at-home rotating menu, seasonal ‘extra special meals’ and pre-cooked ‘sumptuous sharers’.
The menu includes roasted cod with shiitake mushroom broth, cauliflower puree and ricotta gnocchi, 24-hour braised short rib beef with onion tatin and salt-baked beets, with dark chocolate mousse to finish.
Tom Brown, 33, head chef and owner of fish restaurant Cornerstone in Hackney Wick, also received his first Michelin star
Clare Smyth, who is originally from Northern Ireland, was widely touted to get the third star last year but missed out, with only Instagram-friendly sketch in Mayfair wining the award
Hélène Darroze’s eponymous restaurant at The Connaught in Mayfair was awarded a third Michelin star
Core by Clare Smyth (right), in Notting Hill, west London and Hélène Darroze’s (left) eponymous restaurant at The Connaught in Mayfair, were both awarded the top gong, taking the capital’s total number of three-starred restaurants to five.
Michelin Guide 2021: Which restaurants were awarded prestigious stars this year
- Hélène Darroze at the Connaught, London
- Core by Clare Smyth, London
- A Wong, London
- Da Terra, London (promoted from one star)
- Restaurant Story, London
Osip, Bruton, Somerset
Sola, Soho, London
Muse, Belgravia, London
Latymer, Bagshot, Surrey
Casa Fofo, London
Pea Porridge, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
Cail Bruich, Glasgow
Cornerstone, Hackney, London
Davies & Brook, London
Outlaw’s New Road, Port Isaac, Cornwall
Hide & Fox, Kent Behind, London
Shaun Rankin at Grantley Hall Dede, Baltimore
Restaurant Hjem, Northumberland
The Black Swan at Oldstead, York
Inis Meain, Aran Islands
Oxo Tower Brasserie, Southwark
Henry Robertson at Pale Hall, Llandderfel
Petersham Nurseries Café, Richmond
The Dining Room at Whatley Manor, Malmesbury
The Small Holding, Kilndown
Where the Light Gets In, Stockport
Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Oxfordshire
The Ethicurean, Wrington
Tredwells, Strand and Covent Garden, London
L’Enclume, Cartmel, Cumbria
Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham
River Cottage Kitchen, Axminster
Silo, Hackney, London
New Yard, Helston
Coombeshead Farm, Lewannick
Daylesford Organic Farm, Stow-on-the-Wold
Goldie in Cork
The Stag & Hounds in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire;
The Square in Porthleven, Cornwall
Table Forty One in Gorey, Co. Wexford
Spitalfields pub in Dublin
Noto in Edinburgh
The Royal in St-Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex
The Kentish Hare in Bidborough, Kent
Volpe Nera in Dublin
Legare in Southwark,
Fallow and Mo Diner in Mayfair,
Paradise in Soho,
Volta do Mar in Covent Garden
Flor in Borough Market
Aikens, who has appeared on BBC2’s The Great British Menu in 2014, was the youngest British chef awarded two Michelin stars at the age of 26.
Speaking after his win, he said: ‘What an unimaginable and challenging year we have all had, but every cloud has a silver lining, thank you Michelin!
‘Despite the current circumstances, we sincerely hope and believe that we will all be able to get back to doing what we love soon, as our journey has only just begun and we have a lot more in store for you all.’
Elsewhere, there were some 17 newly starred restaurants in this year’s guide including Andy Benyon’s eatery Behind, in London Fields – which has only traded for 20 days since it opened last October.
Tom Brown, 33, head chef and owner of fish restaurant Cornerstone in Hackney Wick, also received his first Michelin star.
He has done live Instagram classes through lockdown, teaching people how to make the most of their kitchen during quarantine.
Brown took to Instagram to show off a tattoo to mark the occasion.
‘The proudest moment of my career so far, but I genuinely can’t take the credit for this… it’s all down to my incredible staff who give so much and work so hard every day, thank you so much,’ he wrote.
Tommy Banks, who runs the Black Swan in Oldstead, North Yorkshire, was awarded one Michelin star for Roots in York.
During lockdown he launched a simple ‘make-away’ that contains two three-course meals, largely using produce grown by The Black Swan and local farmers.
Dishes are ready-to-eat or only require heating up and the menu includes Black Swan tomatoes and Amalthea goats’ cheese tart, chilled courgette soup, chicken and lovage gratin and slow-cooked pork, financier cake.
Meanwhile, Glasgow got it’s first star in 17 years as French-Scottish restaurant Cail Bruich was included in the book.
The restaurant, which is run by Lorna McNee, serves the likes of hand-rolled pasta, wild mushroom, madeira, pecorino and olive oil sponge cake – but its menu changes seasonally and uses local ingredients.
London also has three new two-Michelin-starred restaurant and seven new one-star diners.
All the three star restaurants from 2020 maintained their place on the list, and there were no big name loses. Mayfair’s Araki which lost all three stars last year did not gain a place in the red book.
Those that lost their stars included Japanese restaurant Umu in London, which was demoted from two stars to one.
Jason Atherton’s Social Eating House and Henrik Riston’s Aquavit, both in London, lost their one star, while five Michelin-starred restaurants closed in 2020 so weren’t including in the book: – The Ledbury, The Greenhouse, Roganic, Alyn Williams at the Westbury, Texture, and The Square.
In London, Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, Sketch (The Lecture Room & Library), and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay kept their three stars.
Outside of London, there are two three-starred restaurants in the UK and Ireland; The Fat Duck by Heston Blumenthal and the Waterside Inn, both in Bray, Berkshire.
A Wong, also in London, became the first Chinese restaurant in the UK to get two stars, joining Da Terra and Restaurant Story amid the winners of a prestigious second star.
Speaking on winning his award, chef Andrew Wong said: ‘We try to represent China as a whole, all it’s regions, and its three thousands years of gastronomic history’.
Gordon Ramsay-alumnus Tom Aikens’ restaurant in Belgravia, Muse, also gained a star, in a pre-recorded zoom video, he said, ‘Wow, that’s amazing, I’m so happy.’
For the first time, the red book – which is only being published digitally this year – also released ‘Green Stars’ for restaurants showing outstanding commitment to sustainability.
‘Launching a brand new distinction dedicated to sustainable gastronomy shows that our recognition of restaurants goes beyond the search for the best cooking. It enables us to also turn the spotlight on those with a great sense of responsibility towards the environment’, said Gwendal Poullennec said.
Whether these restaurants are champions of local produce, pioneers in the fight against food waste or leaders in vegetable growing, they are selected on the basis of research, fieldwork and investigation carried out by the inspectors.
A Wong, also in London, became the first Chinese restaurant in the UK to get two stars, joining Da Terra and Restaurant Story amid the winners of a prestigious second star
Glasgow got it’s first star in 17 years as French-Scottish restaurant Cail Bruich was included in the book
Restaurant Story, in Southwark, south London, gained it’s second Michelin star in 2020
Jason Atherton’s Social Eating House and Henrik Riston’s Aquavit (pictured), both in London, lost their one star, while five Michelin-starred restaurants closed in 2020 so weren’t including in the book: – The Ledbury, The Greenhouse, Roganic, Alyn Williams at the Westbury, Texture, and The Square.
Meanwhile, Tom Brown, of Cornerstone in Hackney also picked up his first star, and took to Instagram to show off a tattoo to mark the occasion. ‘The proudest moment of my career so far, but I genuinely can’t take the credit for this… it’s all down to my incredible staff who give so much and work so hard every day, thank you so much,’ he wrote.
For the first time, the red book – which is only being published digitally this year – also released ‘Green Stars’ for restaurants showing outstanding commitment to sustainability, which included the OXO Tower
By awarding Michelin Green Stars, the Michelin Guide wants to highlight the best and most innovative practices in order to inspire not only the industry, but also all the readers and users of the Michelin Guide.
The ceremony usually takes place in October, but was pushed back due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and was hosted virtually by Davina McCall in London and Gwendal Poullennec, in Paris.
Michelin said it began work on the guide in August 2019 – while restaurants were still open, meaning many were able to be inspected before restaurants closed in lockdown.
Awards also included the Service Award, which went to Noble Holywood in County Down, the Sommelier Award went to Karina Canevet of Maison Bleue in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk and The Young Chef Award recognised Kray Treadwell of 670 Grams in Birmingham.
The Mentor Chef Award went to Ross Lewis of Chapter One in Dublin.
Speaking at the launch, Gwendal Poullennec said: ‘This has been a hugely challenging period for the hospitality industry and our thoughts remain with all those who have suffered from the pandemic and by the restrictions that have been put in place.’
He continued: ‘We were heartened by the number of chefs who called us during the year to ensure we were still going ahead with the Guide and our yearly awards.
‘The Michelin Guide is about so much more than recognising those at the top of their profession; it is about promoting the hospitality industry as a whole and we want to shine a light on the hard work, tenacity and commitment of chefs and restaurant teams.’
By postponing publication for a few months and by making the Guide digital only, the inspectors were able to work on this edition for over 16 months, which meant the lockdowns could be easily absorbed into the working period.
They have used the same methodology and looked for the same standards as they do in any year.
There are also 16 new Bib Gourmand, our award for restaurants offering good food at competitive prices. These range from Peckham Cellars and Fallow in London to Noto in Edinburgh, Spitalfields in Dublin and Volpe Nera in Blackrock.
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