Following the launch of the Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland 2018, in which one new three-star restaurant was recognised, as well as one new two-star and 17 new one-stars, The Caterer gauged the chefs’ reaction to the news.
Claude Bosi, whose restaurant Claude Bosi at Bibendum in London won two new stars, having opened earlier this year told The Caterer: “It’s like a massive weight has come off my shoulders. We finished at Hibiscus on a high and we wanted to start at Bibendum in the same way. We opened on 5 April and the inspections finished in August so there really wasn’t a lot of time. I have an amazing team that has been working so hard with me. It’s unbelievable. I remember the first time I looked at Bibendum when I came to England 20 years ago and thinking how desperate do you have to be to call it Bibendum in order to get a Michelin star. I didn’t know its history at that point, but it never had had a star. After I found out about the building and the history behind it, it’s unbelievable.”
Adam Smith, executive chef at Coworth Park near Ascot, Berkshire, who also won a new Michelin star said: “It’s a bit of a shock. As a chef it is always your ambition to achieve this and I have spent the last 15 years of my life working towards that and wanting that and for it to finally happen is really great. I have only been where I am for just over a year. My phone is going mental with messages from everyone.”
Meanwhile, Niall Keating who won a star for Whatley Manor following the departure of Martin Burge, said: “I am just absolutely blown away. The feeling is unbelievable and I am just elated. My fiancee and my sous chef have been able to rally the guys from back home and hopefully they are going to get together to night and come to London so hopefully in a few hours they will arrive and we will spend the night together in London celebrating.”
Henrik Ritzen, head chef of Aquavit in London’s St James’s, which also won its first star said: “It was a massive shock to the system when Michelin called me on Friday – I can’t really believe it. It is a massive achievement for the whole team who worked incredibly hard for the whole year and we believed in our product and stuck to what we wanted to do and we haven’t changed the concept. It is very different to the New York one, it is a lot more brasserie style. We are always being attached to the two-star restaurant but we are doing our own thing here and it is a bit different. It’s a big restaurant and a big team and it has been a massive team effort so I can’t take credit for it. I have spoken to some of the team and when I get back we are all going to celebrate.”
Aidan McGrath, chef and co-owner of the first pub in Ireland to win a Michelin star, The Wild Honey Inn on the Burren, County Clare, said: “I’m stuck for words for once! It’s a huge thing for me, my family and my team. We have worked so hard.”
Vineet Bhatia, commenting on winning a Michelin star for his eponymous restaurant in London said: “It’s very important for us, I’m chuffed for my family and the team. It’s the dream!”
Speaking about his pub The Coach in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, winning its first Michelin star, Tom Kerridge said: “I am over the moon for my wonderful team at The Coach. Chef Nick and the whole crew front and back of house work tirelessly every day to provide a welcoming, neighbourhood place.”
And in an emotional reaction to winning three stars for the Araki at Michelin’s live event in London earlier today, Mitsuhiro Araki said: “I am so happy and I am grateful to my wife and to my daughter. I have a responsibility for my customers and for our future.”
There were also plenty of messages on social media from some of the winning chefs and restaurants:
We are beyond delighted to announce @ChefSmith1987 has been awarded a Michelin Star for Restaurant Coworth Park!