The Lecture Room & Library at Sketch in London was the sole new recipient of three Michelin stars at the launch today of the 2020 guide for Great Britain and Ireland.
Overseen by French chef Pierre Gagniere, the kitchen at the Lecture Room & Library is run on a daily basis by head chef Johannes Nuding. It becomes the fifth restaurant in the UK, alongside Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London, and the Fat Duck and Waterside Inn in Bray, Berkshire, to hold the coveted accolade.
Three restaurants were promoted from one to two stars: La Dame de Pic at the Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square (Anne-Sophie Pic) in London, the Dining Room at Whatley Manor, Malmesbury, Wiltshire (Niall Keating) and the Greenhouse in Dublin (Mikael Viljanean). Aimsir in Celbridge, County Kildare, where Jordan Bailey focuses on a menu of foraged and preserved produce, enters the guide for the first time with two Michelin stars.
A total of 23 new one Michelin stars, four two stars and one three star were handed out at the presentation ceremony held at the Hurlingham Club in Fulham, west London.
Nuding was in shock on hearing the news of the third star. He said the award was down to "hard work, a great team and working with the best - Pierre Gagnaire - for many years. For the team it will mean a lot. I push them every day. Now they see if you push it really pays off one day and you can do what you want if you just believe in it and work hard."
Mourad Mazouz, the owner of Sketch, was equally surprised and said he did not know what the implication of three stars would be. "It's a long journey from a small village in Algeria, where I come from. It is Johannes especially and Pierre who deserve the stars – they are really the ones who make all the details in the plate. Pierre is an unbelievable genius."
Niall Keating, who was appointed executive chef at Whatley Manor in 2016, said: "I'm over the moon. I can't even describe what's going through my head. I always wanted it, you always wanted to believe that you're capable of it but you never really know until you see it come off. I'm completely overwhelmed."
Bailey, who is originally from Cornwall and previously worked as Maaemo in Oslo, Norway, said the two stars were unexpected. "We only use Irish produce bar one thing, sugar - which we're working on. Our producers bend over backward for us every day. I never even dreamed of this. We're very thankful."
The 2020 guide was notable for awarding Manchester its first Michelin star for more than 40 years with the announcement that Mana had received the award. Chef Simon Martin, who owns the restaurant in Ancoats, said: "The restaurant was not created to get a star for Manchester. Ultimately the focus was always on having a great environment for the team and making the guest very, very happy. This is a massive bonus and something I've wanted for a very long time."
Sat Bains, the holder of two-Michelin-stars at his eponymous restaurant in Nottingham, was delighted that three of his proteges received new stars in the 2020: Jordan Bailey, Niall Kating and Alex Bond, who was the recipient of one star at Alchemilla in Nottingham. "I'm blown away, so proud of them, " he said. "To see them grow and the way they've developed is mind-blowing. I'm so chuffed. "
Alongside announcing the new stars, Michelin also presented three new awards for 2020: Welcome & Service Award to the Crown Team Bonwick at Burchetts Green, Berkshire; Sommelier Award to Jurica Gojevic, Adare Manor, County Limerick; and Sustainability Award to Loam in Galway.
The 2020 guide features a total of 1,464 restaurants, five of which now hold three stars, 23 two stars and 159 one star.
New Michelin stars for 2020
Sketch – the Lecture Room and Library, Mayfair, London (Joannes Nuding)
Aimsir, Cliff at Lyons, County Kildare (Jordan Bailey)
The Greenhouse, Dublin (Michael Viljanen)
La Dame de Pic at Four Seasons Hotel Ten Trinity Square, London (Luca Piscazzi)
The Dining Room at Whatley Manor, Malmesbury (Niall Keating)
Stark, Broadstairs, Kent (Ben Crittenden)
Artichoke, Amersham, Buckinghamshire (Laurie Gear)
Dysart Petersham, Richmond, London (Kenneth Culhane)
Cottage in the Wood, Braithwaite, Cumbria (Ben Wilkinson)
Allium at Askham Hall, Askham, Cumbria (Richard Swale)
Old Stamp House, Ambleside, Cumbria (Ryan Blackburn)
Da Terra, Town Hall hotel, Bethnal Green, London (Rafael Cagali)
The Oak Room, Adare Manor, County Limerick (Michael Tweedie)
Opheem, Birmingham (Aktar Islam) (first Indian restaurant outside of London to receive a Michelin star)
Mana, Manchester (Simon Martin) (First Manchester)
The Angel at Hetton, Skipton, North Yorkshire (Michael Wignall)
Pensons, Tenbury Wells, Herefordshire (Lee Westcott)
Beach House, Oxwich, Gower Peninsula (Hywel Griffith)
Condita, Edinburgh (Conor Toomey)
Bastion, Kinsale, County Cork (Paul McDonald)
Endo at the Rotunda, Television Centre at White City, London (Endo Kazutoshi)
The Tudor Room at Great Fosters hotel, Egham, Surrey (Tony Parkin) (won it back after change of chef)
The Restaurant at Isle of Eriska hotel, near Oban, Scotland (Graeme Cheevers)
The Royal Oak, Whatcote, Warwickshire (Richard Craven)
Restaurant Interlude, Lower Beeding, West Sussex (Jean Delport)
The Muddlers Club, Belfast (Gareth McCaughey)
Alchemilla, Nottingham (Alex Bond)
Mãos, Shoreditch, London (Edoardo Pellicano)
Variety Jones, Dublin (Keelan Higgs)