Michelin awards two stars to Hélène Darroze

18 January 2011 by
Michelin awards two stars to Hélène Darroze

Michelin has awarded new stars to eight restaurants in London including Hélène Darroze at the Connaught, Mayfair which is the only restaurant in the capital to have been promoted to two-star level.

The guide, which this year celebrates 100 years since its first publication in 1911, honoured a mix of newcomers and established operators with new stars, bringing the total of starred restaurants in the capital to 53, more than ever before.

Hélène Darroze is the UK's first female chef-patron to have gained two Michelin stars and joins an elite group of just eight two-starred restaurants in London. She won her first star in 2009 following the opening of her eponymous restaurant at the Connaught hotel in 2008. Last year, Darroze lost one of her two Michelin stars at her restaurant in Paris in the 2010 edition of the Michelin guide for France.

Michelin's outgoing editor Derek Bulmer said: "We always knew Hélène Darroze had the talent. It looks as if she's made the decision she's going to concentrate on London, luckily for us. It was then almost inevitable that the second star was going to come."

Meanwhile Michelin has awarded seven restaurants in the capital with their first Michelin star including newcomers Nuno Mendes' Viajante, Philip Howard and Rebecca Mascarenhas' Kitchen W8, Alexis Gauthier's eponymous restaurant in Soho and Galvin La Chapelle.

Gordon Ramsay Holdings has gained a star at the relaunched Pétrus, which reopened last March a stone's throw from the original, now occupied by Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley.

Alexis Gauthier told Caterer he and his team were over the moon. "We took a big risk leaving Roussillon and setting up on our own, and winning a star shows that the gamble and all the hard work we have put in has paid off. It makes it all worthwhile," he said.

"Overall I think it's a shame that there were no real surprises in this year's Michelin guide. London is the leading city in Europe when it comes to eating out and deserves more two- and three-star restaurants. But I have no doubt that it's just a matter of time and it will happen."

Jeff Galvin, chef and co-owner of Galvin La Chapelle, said he was thrilled to have won a star and thanked his team for their contribution. "It's no coincidence that we have won a star. I'm cooking at the most consistent level of my career at the moment, thanks to our amazing team, who provide a real layer of safety. I just wish I could celebrate with a glass of Champagne now but I have 120 in for lunch."

More established operators celebrating their first Michelin star include Petersham Nurseries in Richmond, where Skye Gyngell is in charge of the kitchen and which first opened in 2004 and serves lunch only five days a week.

Two London restaurants lost their Michelin stars: Thai restaurant Nahm at the Halkin Hotel, which had held a star since 2002; and, following the departure of Gauthier, Roussillon, which had held a star for 10 years.

Gauthier commented: "It's a pity that Roussillon has lost its star but I have no doubt that it will regain it. Dan Gill is a talented chef who has the capability of gaining a star in the future."

Michelin awarded 11 restaurants the Bib Gourmand status, which denotes good food at moderate prices. They include Italian restaurants Polpo, Trullo and Zucca, tapas restaurants Iberica and Morito, and French restaurants 28°-50° and Galvin Café a Vin.

New two-star restaurants Hélène Darroze at the Connaught, Mayfair

New one-star restaurants Kitchen W8, Kensington
Petersham Nurseries, Richmond
Viajante, Bethnal Green
Galvin La Chapelle, Spitalfields
Pétrus, Belgravia
Seven Park Place, St James
Gauthier Soho, Soho

Deletions Nahm (at The Halkin Hotel), Belgravia
Roussillon, Victoria

New Bib Gourmands
Goldfish City, City of London
28°-50°, City of London
Charlotte's Bistro, Chiswick
Trullo, Canonbury
Morito, Finsbury
Canton Arms, Stockwell
Simply Thai, Teddington
Zucca, Southwark
Galvin Café a Vin, Spitalfields
Iberica, Regent's Park & Marylebone
Polpo, Soho

<span class=""noindex"">By Kerstin Kühn

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