As you’d expect around the 3rd week of January there is the fevered anticipation due to the release of the ‘Little Red Book’. The speculation has been rife, with rumours circulating on the internet of a new 3 star. The early money seemed to be on Marcus Wareing at The Berkley but in more recent days Claude Bosi’s Hibiscus seems to have been more favoured destination of the ultimate culinary accolade.
With a surge in PR this year and collecting the AA’s highest form of recognition, many have widely tipped Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume in Cumbria to receive a promotion along with Sat Bains in Nottingham. Having not eaten at either it would be hard for the blog to gauge the merited values of both restaurants against what is perceived to be the benchmarks. Current 2* chef, Michael Caines tweeted last night at his frustration of not knowing Gidleigh Parks new standing.
Well 100 years on & I dont feel any more closer to that elusive 3rd Star, yet i feel either way we are worth it!
The food at Gidleigh Park is, in our opinion, to quote Michelin
Three stars mean exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.
With the hour finally approaching and the baying mass that are the journalists all gathered at the Bibendum restaurant, where the previous night there had been a gathering of about 140 current starred chefs to say goodbye to the out going Editor Derek Bulmer & celebrate 100 years of Michelin in the UK.
So to the 2011 guide, no new three stars, 2 new two stars & 12 new one stars. This brings the total to a new record at 143.
The expectation of some that there was going to be a new 3*, now appears to be completely unfounded and although there are two new 2* in Nathan Outlaw & Helene Darroze at The Connaught not the expected Sat Bains & Simon Rogan combination people had been expecting.
Incoming Editor Rebecca Burr, who worked in conjunction with Derek Bulmer, commented on this years guide.
This centenary edition underlines the UK’s greatest strength which is the rich diversity and variety of its restaurants. The country embraces all kinds of restaurants and every type of cuisine and the public’s appetite shows no signs of abating.
There is no doubt that 2010 was a difficult year but those hotels and restaurants that represented value for money, at whatever price, were the ones who were best placed to weather the storm. We found 12 new one star establishments and awarded 26 new Bib Gourmands which readers particularly appreciate for their moderate prices.
Some of the attention has been aimed at Gordon Ramsay and his empire. Last year Claridges lost a star after the departure of trusted lieutenant Mark Sargeant. This year was was more up’s than downs, although Foxtrot Oscar lost out, the much maligned Petrus gained a star. Once famously called
by Times writer Giles Coren, it certainly has had it’s fair share of mixed reviews. This year Mr Ramsay is celebrating 10 years of having the three stars from Michelin, with a new editor on board will we see changes? Only the 2012 guide will tell.
Unfortunately there are also some losers in this years guide, with a total of 11 deletions from the one star category (all be it one is a promotion to two stars). Harry’s Place in Grantham is one such deletion, which is a shame as it is quite a unique restaurant. It was allegedly the smallest starred restaurant in the world, seating just 10 customers. Other restaurants that were deleted were closures such as The Goose & West Stoke House, along with The New Angel (now re-named Angelique, and under the new ownership of Alan Murchinson’s 10 in 8 group) although this will be widely tipped to regain a star next year. The Star at Harome was amongst the shock losers together with Deanes in Belfast.
Needless to say we are sure that the eGullet forum will have plenty to discuss with the new guide. So here it is, the Michelin Guide to the UK & Ireland 2011.