Chef Mitsuhiro Araki’s restaurant, the Araki in London’s Regent Street, has been awarded three Michelin stars.
At a live event held at the Brewery in London, near the Barbican, Michelin also awarded Claude Bosi’s Bibendum two stars, while 17 restaurants were named new one stars in the 2018 Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland.
This year, the Guide offered new plaques for all one-, two- and three-star restaurants.
It is the first time three new Michelin stars has been awarded in the UK since 2010 when Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, London, won the ultimate accolade three years after the restaurant’s launch. Prior to that, Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck won a third star in 2004.
The Araki is also the first Japanese restaurant in the UK to hold three Michelin stars.
Chef Mitsuhiro Araki previously ran Araki restaurant in Tokyo for which he held three Michelin stars, but chose to close it in February 2013 in order to pursue a new challenge.
He relocated to London in 2014 to open the 15-seat restaurant which comprises nine seats at the counter and six in the private dining room.
In September 2015, The Araki was awarded two stars in the 2016 Michelin Guide for the UK and Ireland. It was one of two Japanese restaurants in London to be elevated to the two-star level that year, the other being Umu.
Accepting his award, the tearful Araki said he was very grateful and thanked his wife and daughter. “I have a responsibility for my customers and for our future,” he added.
The only new restaurant to be awarded two stars was Bibendum in London’s Chelsea which opened six months ago in March.
Bosi was awarded his first star in the UK at Overton Grange in 1997. He was then awarded a Michelin star at Hibiscus in Ludlow in 2001 and two in 2004. In 2007, he relocated the restaurant to London where it retained its two stars until he closed it last year.
The guide said the move by Claude was “a very clear statement on intent and has invigorated his character. Food is big and bold, which suits his personality”. Inspectors judged his dishes to be the stand out food of the year.
Bosi said: “We are so lucky to have this, it’s utterly fantastic. We are at an age where we cook the way we feel. My team has been absolutely unbelievable.”
Meanwhile, the new one-Michelin-starred restaurants included Matt Worswick’s the Latymer at Pennyhill Park hotel, Surrey; Michael Caines’ Lympstone Manor, Devon – which has only been open for six months; the Clock House, Ripley, Surrey, where Fred Clapperton took over as head chef in September 2016; Mark Birchall’s Moor Hall in West Lancashire which opened in March this year; and Vineet Bhatia’s self-titled restaurant in London Chelsea.
Worswick held a star at Glenapp Castle and comes from the stable of two-Michelin-starred Le Champignon Sauvage.
The Wild Honey Inn in the Burren, County Clare, was announced as the first pub in Ireland to win a Michelin star. Chef and owner Aidan McGrath 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.”
Inspectors said Mumbai chef Bhatia, who first won a Michelin star in 2001, took inspiration from his travels and added Indian flavours to dishes using British ingredients. He said: “It’s very important for us, I’m chuffed for my family and the team. It’s the dream!”
The Welcome and Service Award was given to Sandia Chang and James Knappett of Bubbledogs. Michelin said that they were chosen because “they proved there could be harmony between the kitchen and service teams”.
“This award is extended to the whole team for the hard work they do, their knowledge and personality”, the guide added.
One of the biggest trends that Michelin identified over the past year was the rise in British chefs using local, seasonal produce and pushing modern British cuisine.
The first Michelin Guide for the British Isles appeared in 1911. The Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland now recommends more than 3,000 places to eat and sleep – including those restaurants and pubs awarded Michelin stars for the quality of their food.
New three Michelin-starred restaurants
The Araki, London Regent Street
New two Michelin-starred restaurants
Bibendum, London Chelsea
New one Michelin-starred restaurants
The Latymer at Pennyhill Park, Surrey
Lympstone Manor, Devon
Coworth Park, Berkshire
The Clock House, Surrey
The Dining Room at Whatley Manor, Wiltshire
Moor Hall, West Lancashire
The Coach, Marlow
Paco Tapas, Bristol
Loch Bay, Isle of Skye
The Wild Honey Inn, Burren, Co. Clare
A. Wong, London Victoria
Jamavar, London Mayfair
La Dame de Pic in the Four Seasons hotel, Ten Trinity Square London
Vineet Bhatia, London Chelsea
Aquavit, London St James’s
Elystan Street, London Chelsea
The Square, London
Videos from The Caterer archives