LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Michelin has awarded 14 new stars to British and Irish restaurants but stripped 11 stars from others in its 100th regional edition.
Editor-in-Chief Rebecca Burr said the centenary of the British and Irish guide underlined the rich diversity of restaurants despite tighter budgets and the Irish economy’s rapid slide.
“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,” she said.
The awarded stars for 2011 included two new two-star restaurants, one with a French female chef and the other with a home-grown English chef at the helm: Helene Darroze at The Connaught in London and Nathan Outlaw at the Rock in the southwestern English county of Cornwall.
New one star highlights included the Pony & Trap in the southern English village of Chew Magna, highlighting the fact that some of the best cooking can be found in pubs.
London continued to create new stars such as Viajante run by Portuguese chef Nuno Mendes, the Petersham Nurseries Café and the family-run Galvin La Chapelle.
Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck held on to its three Michelin stars -- a 2009 food scare there now a dim memory -- as did Alain Roux’s Waterside Inn. Both are in the town of Bray in Berkshire, west of London.
Profanity-spewing TV chef Gordon Ramsay of “Hell’s Kitchen” fame also kept three stars at the London restaurant named after himself as did Alain Ducasse at London’s swish Dorchester hotel.
Most of the 11 deletions came from England, where two of the nine English restaurants deleted have closed. Summer Isles in the Scottish highlands lost its star as did Deanes in Belfast.
To celebrate the guide’s centenary, each 2011 edition comes with a booklet recounting the history of the Michelin Guide in Britain and Ireland.
The first Michelin guide to the British Isles was published in 1911, with the aim of helping motorists on their travels. It was dark blue and largely instructional in nature, with information on road quality and how to change a tire, as well as details for hotels and repair shops for inevitable breakdowns.
Five editions were initially published, with a break for the First World War, followed by 1922 to 1930. The current Great Britain & Ireland guide was launched in 1974 and has been published every year since.
Editing by Steve Addison