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September 26, 2013updated Sep 30, 2013

London Leads the Way in Michelin Guide 2014

By Laura Walkinshaw

social eating house_London’s fine dining scene is leading the way with Michelin stars following the release of the 2014 guide to restaurants in Great Britain and Ireland.

A total of 167 British and Irish restaurants have been awarded with the prestigious stars in the latest guide, with Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and The Greenhouse, both in the capital, gaining two-star status, while 15 new restaurants have been awarded with one Michelin star.

Arnaud Bignon, who has been head chef at The Greenhouse for the last 18 months, said he was “thrilled” that the restaurant had gained recognition for its dedication to food and service.

“On days like this it goes to show that no detail is inconsequential; no menu is too carefully planned, no ingredient too obsessively sourced, and no guest too lovingly served!” he said.

Ashley Palmer-Watts, executive head chef of The Fat Duck Group, said he was “blown away” by news of the restaurant’s second Michelin star.

“This is just incredible news and an amazing achievement for the entire team at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. Everyone works so hard every day and myself and Heston are so proud of each and every one of them.”

Blumenthal added: “I am overjoyed. It’s great news for Ashley and the whole team. It’s been an incredible two and a half years for Dinner and this is just simply the highlight.

“As a Brit, I am very proud that a restaurant inspired by and celebrating historic British cooking has been recognized today.”

Social Eating House, which opened in April, was among the restaurants awarded with a first Michelin star, along with Peruvian restaurant Lima, Angler, Outlaw’s at the Capital, HKK, Bo London, Story, Ametsa and Brasserie Chavot.

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Paul Hood, head chef at Social Eating House, said: “A Michelin star is an incredible accomplishment for the Jason Atherton group. I am so proud of my team who have worked so hard over the last five months to achieve this.”

Didier Souillat, Hakkasan Group’s Executive Vice President of Restaurants, said: “On behalf of the Hakkasan group, Chef Tong Chee Hwee and the team at HKK, I would like to express our enormous pride in having been awarded our first Michelin star for this ground-breaking restaurant.

“The recognition by the prestigious Michelin Guide so soon after we launched last December, reflects a phenomenal achievement by Chef Tong and his hard working kitchen team, in creating a unique fine-dining restaurant that pioneers Chinese ‘haute cuisine’.”

Elsewhere in the UK and Ireland, six restaurants were awarded with their first Michelin star, including The Samling in Ambleside, Cumbria, Adam’s in Birmingham and Wilks in Bristol.

They were joined by Jersey restaurant Ormer by Shaun Rankin as well as Campagne and Lady Helen, both in Kilkenny.

ian swainson_Ian Swainson, head chef at The Samling (pictured), said he was “over the moon” to have been awarded with his first Michelin star within a year of taking charge of the kitchen at the Lake District Hotel.

“It’s a dream come true – it’s something you work for the whole of your career and you’re never sure if you’ll make it,” the 31-year-old added. “I’ve always worked with Michelin starred chefs so I always hoped it would be something I’d get myself. It’s an absolute honor.”

Swainson, who before joining The Samling worked at the Michelin-starred L’Ortolan in Reading, said his team had a “massive passion to create and inspire”.

“We try and be as interesting as we can be,” he said. “I’m very lucky that my owners share the same dream as I do. They want to push the best ingredients and cook something that’s truly extravagant and luxurious, and I’m very lucky to be part of that team.”

All three-star restaurants held onto their Michelin stars, including London’s Gordon Ramsay and Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, along with Blumenthal’s Fat Duck and Alain Roux’s Waterside Inn, both in Bray. There were no new three-star restaurants added to the guide.

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, in London, lost its second star, while five other restaurants have lost their one star.

The first edition of the Michelin Guide was published in 1900, covering France, and came to Britain in 1974. Family-run restaurant Le Gavroche became the first UK restaurant to gain one star in the same year and by 1982 had achieved three Michelin stars. Today the restaurant, run by Michel Roux, Jr., holds two stars.

Three stars indicate exceptional cuisine in the guide, while two are for excellent cooking and worth a detour, and one signifies a very good restaurant in its category.

The Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2014 will be available to buy from October 4.

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