Following the announcement this morning of 14 new stars in the Great Britain and Ireland Michelin Guide 2015, The Caterer has been tracking down some very happy chefs and restaurateurs to find out how they feel about the news:"I'm super happy. Paul and the team both front and back of house have worked hard to make the restaurant a quality establishment so it has all the right ingredients to be a top establishment. But it's important to be focused on the customers. I'll probably be knocked for this, but McDonald's are the bastions of consistency, you can go to any McDonald's in the world and the food is the same and there are queues and that's because they are customer focused. It's the same for any restaurant business, you've have to think about the customer, always, and that's what we do at City Social. I made big promises to Restaurant Associates, they invested a lot of money in City Social and we've lived up to our reputation. We want to continue to stand for high values and push and set the bar as a restaurant group. It's my dream to stand alongside chefs like Jean-Georges Vongerichten one day and say the Social group is one of best restaurant groups in the world." Jason Atherton (who now holds Michelin stars at three out of his six restaurants in London) "It has been a very long journey from the beginning, since we all started working together (the Hart brothers). It is incredible what we have achieved. Everyone has worked so hard, I am so proud." Nieves Barragan Mohacho, executive head chef, Barrafina "I am feeling really shocked and surprised. We have a long-running history with Michelin what with Simpsons, but we thought that with the Cross being a new venture, that we weren't on the radar. When we opened, our first efforts at the Cross was to stabilise things especially as we were also competing in the Bocuse d'Or. I think that doing the Bocuse d'Or at the same time helped us deal with the pressure better and we learnt how to ride two horses on one backside! I have great people behind me, especially my sous chef Kristian Curtis. But it is also down to old fashioned hard work and attention to detail." Adam Bennett, chef director, the Cross at Kenilworth "Clearly we are delighted especially in our 40th year and I believe it is just reward for Ross \[Stovold\] and his team both in the kitchen and front of house and their pursuit of the best freshest local produce whether from the island, the surrounding waters or mountains." Beppo Buchanan-Smith, owner, Isle of EriskaDan Cox, executive head chef, Fera "It's absolutely brilliant. I found out at 7:30 this morning and I was there with everyone else. We weren't sure what to expect - I was 50:50. I know I have only been here 11 months. I felt we were cooking at the right level and I felt the team were delivering, but you just don't know. When I was in Colette's we were pusing to get a star but to finally be able to do it in my own restuarant is a dream come true. This is the cherry on the cake. We have tried to deliver a new direction for the Crown, using a lot of natural produce and the location and putting the valley on the plate. We have had great customer reaction to it, and this is acknowledgement that we are going in the right direction." Chris Harrod, chef, the Crown at Whitebrook "Sandia and I are both absolutely thrilled at the news. It's been a long journey, but we have fulfilled our dream of opening a successful restaurant together, and to be recognised with a Michelin star for doing something that you love is amazing. We'd like to thank all those that have supported us from the start, many of whom have become good friends over the last two years." James Knappett, chef patron, Bubbledogs "The Michelin man is smiling again in downtown Harome! It's been an emotional morning. After a few years in the wilderness it's great to be back in the gang again. A massive privilege to regain the award through enormous effort from all at the Star Inn - Steve Smith, my head chef, has worked endlessly with restaurant manager Stelian Cristea to achieve a beloved Michelin star again. I'm so proud, and it's great for everyone concerned." Andrew Pern, chef-proprietor, the Star Inn, Harome "I never thought a Michelin star would bring me to tears! I have an amazing wife and team, who I love dearly. They are all my stars! Thanks Michelin, it's a dream come true. Who ever would have thought that sausage and mash would win us a star? Ok, so maybe that's a bit of an extreme example and it's not only the sausage & mash that has earned a country pub in Devon a Michelin star, but it does brings back memories of a time when someone once said to me, ‘No matter how much effort you and your team put in, you will never earn a Michelin star as you didn't have table cloths and you're were a pub!' Well I can not tell you how amazing it feels to prove that theory wrong. It shows that Michelin understands the culture of English dining, and always has. There's a feeling out there now that the 'dining experience' has changed, it has. I believe by pubs winning accolades such as a Michelin star, proves that the food scene in the UK has gone back to its roots - great food, great atmosphere and great service. With more and more top chefs taking up the challenge of owning and running a 'pub that serves good food', I am sure the dining landscape will evolve even more over the coming years and I for one am proud that the Treby Arms and I will be part of this evolution. We are so lucky to be working with some of the best suppliers in the south west. It takes time, patience and effort to care for, grow and source the best ingredients. We have an amazing team who care as much as we do, this shows not only on the plates but also with our staff who take time to learn what we do, why we do it and what it means to our customers. Quite simply put, we have a team of stars that over the years have driven us to the best star we could ask for!">Anton Piotrowski, head chef, the Treby Arms "We're absolutely stoked! The Fish Kitchen, in Port Isaac, is a small place and with the style of food \[tapas\] it came like a bolt out of the blue. We know the food that James Lean and the team are doing is good there, for sure, but it's an incredible reward. We knew the customers were more than happy with what we were doing, but with the price point we thought we were looking at a Bib Gourmand. It's been a good week for the old man." Paul Ripley, executive chef, Nathan Outlaw Restaurants "The award caps off a perfect year for Gymkhana and is a testament to my team of chefs at both Gymkhana and Trishna, headed by Group head chef Rohit Ghai, Brinder Narula, Nand Kishor and Sajeev Nair. Together we've worked very hard to create restaurants that serve great, authentic Indian food, and we're striving to keep getting better as we enter Gymkhana's second year." Karam Sethi, Gymkhana "It's absolutely amazing, I've never had a star before, I'm speechless. I'm currently in Hong Kong with Jason doing some menu development so I phoned the team and said 'we've done it boys' and I all I could hear was this incredible cheer! When we're on the pass we know what we do is good, but our main focus is staying busy and keeping the restaurant full. We make sure that everything that goes out is great, but it is a big challenge for the boys making sure that there's a clear difference between the feel in the bar, where it's more relaxed, and the high service levels in the restaurant. It's fantastic to get the recognition." Paul Walsh, executive head chef, City Social, Tower 42 "I'm a bit blown away. What a year it has been. I didn't sleep last night at all - I just stayed in front of the computer all night and watched a few movies and waited for it to come out. It's worse than Christmas! We knew we'd had the inspections but you never want to get too carried away. It is only 14 months so it is quite early on and I was expecting to wait at least another year. I am blown away that we have got it. It has been a lot of hard work for everyone but we have come through and it has been incredible. This is when it gets difficult - we need to keep our eye on the game. But we don't treat anyone any differently and I think that's the best way. Every service is the same and every customer is the same, so if we keep to that standard we should have nothing to worry about hopefully. We are going to take the boys out for a few drinks tonight - it is going to be a good night." Gareth Ward, head chef, Ynyshir Hall "It feels amazing. We didn't get one last year, and we were a little bit disappointed. Everyone hopes to get one. We wanted to create a restaurant that was for our generation, that was personal to us. A lot of that does veer away from traditional restaurants that are awarded stars, so there was always the concern that it might go against Michelin. But obviously not - we're really overjoyed. I think maybe it shows that Michelin has changed a bit, more of a recognition of a more-relaxed restaurant. It's maybe a slowly-evolving paradigm of the importance of food within a restaurant like this. It feels incomparable when it's your own business. Michelin is the barometer of good food; we're very happy." Daniel Willis, co-founder, Clove Club Â
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