AA Guide announces latest additions to restaurant awards

14 January 2010 by
AA Guide announces latest additions to restaurant awards

The AA will today announce the latest additions to its restaurant awards, with 12 establishments winning three AA rosettes and one being awarded four.

Caterersearch can reveal that theBurlington Restaurant at the Devonshire Arms Country House Hotel at Bolton Abbey in North Yorkshire is the latest addition to the ranks of four-AA-rosette holders.

Head chef Steve Smith joined the property in spring 2008, replacing Michael Wignall, and last year gained a Michelin star for the Burlington Restaurant. He was previously head chef at Seaham Hall, County Durham, where he held three rosettes and a Michelin star.

The AA praised the Burlington Restaurant for its consistency as well as its innovative and skilful modern cooking.

Devonshire Arms managing director Ian Shelton told Caterersearch: "We are delighted and it goes to show that Steve is a chef of real quality. He has been working incredibly hard over the past few years, not just at the Devonshire Arms but also in his previous roles, and it's fantastic to see that his efforts have paid off."

Shelton added that accolades of this calibre were extremely important, especially during a recession. "Winning four AA rosettes really identifies us as a fine-dining destination," he said. "It puts us in a different bracket from our competition, which in the current climate is key."

An additional 12 restaurants have been awarded three AA rosettes. The winners, which include both new and existing establishments across the UK, were praised by the AA for their high standards.

Additions to the list of three-AA-rosette holders include new ventures by established chefs such as Paul Kitching's 21212 in Edinburgh and Seven Park Place by William Drabble, as well as long-standing restaurants such as Launceston Place and Aubergine, in London.

Launceston Place head chef Tristan Welch said he was "on top of the world" about the accolade. "It's a positive for staff and a positive for the restaurant," he said. "We had hoped for it but you can't expect these things as you end up getting upset when it doesn't work out. It's a great achievement for the whole team."

Outside the capital, Restaurant Alimentum in Cambridge was recognised with the award. Head chef Mark Poynton, who joined the restaurant from the two-Michelin-starred Midsummer House last April, said he was thrilled.

"We had our rosettes suspended as I only joined in April and the AA didn't inspect us until November. I'm absolutely thrilled to have won three rosettes in such a short space of time," he said. "It's important to be listed in the guides."

Steve and Claire Love, formerly of Cotswold House in Chipping Campden, picked up three rosettes for their latest venture, Loves Restaurant in Birmingham. Steve said he was "well chuffed" to receive the award. "It's our first accolade since opening in September - it's not bad for four months' work," he added.

Giovanna Grossi, the AA's hotel services group area manager, said she was delighted to see both new ventures and established restaurants gaining three rosettes.

"Restaurants serving food of a three-rosette standard are worthy of recognition from well beyond their local area, while four-rosette restaurants exhibit culinary skills that demand national recognition," she said. "I am glad these 13 very deserving restaurants have been acknowledged for their efforts."

Grossi added: "It is wonderful that restaurants throughout the UK continue to challenge themselves and hone their skills, from emerging talent to established names that have moved on to pastures new."

Three AA rosette winners

By Kerstin Kühn

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