Michelin 2021 blog: Three stars for Hélène Darroze at the Connaught and Core

25 January 2021 by
Michelin 2021 blog: Three stars for Hélène Darroze at the Connaught and Core

Hélène Darroze at the Connaught and Core by Clare Smyth in London have been awarded three Michelin stars as part of a virtual ceremony this evening recognising the winners in the 2021 Guide for Great Britain and Ireland.

Smyth said: "We worked hard every day to be the best that we can. We try to be better every day than the last. Obviously it's my dream to reach this level but you could never imagine it would happen. It's incredible."

She added: "There's nothing that is unachievable now. Core opened just over three years ago. I just want for the future that young chefs – male or female – have the opportunity to open their own restaurants."

The new Michelin stars included:

One star

  • Osip, Bruton, Somerset
  • Shaun Rankin at Grantley Hall
  • Dede, Baltimore
  • Muse, Belgravia, London
  • Latymer, Bagshot, Surrey
  • Hide & Fox, Kent
  • Behind, London
  • Cail Bruich, Glasgow
  • Roots, York
  • Restaurant Hjem, Northumberland
  • Cornerstone, Hackney, London
  • Davies & Brook, London
  • Outlaw's New Road, Port Isaac, Cornwall
  • Benares, London
  • Casa Fofo, London
  • Pea Porridge, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
  • Sola, Soho, London

Two stars

  • A Wong, London
  • Da Terra, London
  • Restaurant Story, London

Three stars

  • Hélène Darroze at the Connaught, London
  • Core by Clare Smyth, London

Andrew Wong of A Wong in London, now two-Michelin-starred, said: "It's massively humbling. Today is a historic day for Chinese communities. It's not just for my team, it's for every Chinese restaurant that has laid the ground for us."

Tom Sellers of Restaurant Story in London, which also won two stars, said: "It's great teamwork from the guys. It's been a lifetime's work so to be recognised and sit amongst other great chefs feels amazing."

Justin Sharp, proprietor at Pea Porridge in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, said: "I can't believe it. It's so surreal. What a surreal 12 months we've had already and this tops it off. It was great to hold on to a Bib Gourmand for 10 years and now this. It's like a dream come true."

Steve Smith said: "I am absolutely thrilled for myself, our kitchen team and our front of house team led by Charlotte Besson. Everyone works tirelessly to make sure that we meet and wherever possible exceed the expectations of our guests. Having only joined Latymer in February and considering the disruption that Covid has caused the hospitality industry, this is an absolutely huge achievement that we are all incredibly proud of. We must also thank Michelin for this recognition and all of our customers for their continued support and warm hearted best wishes. What's exciting is that both myself and Charlotte know that there is so much more that we can do to improve our product for our customers, so this is just the start of our journey at Latymer."

Michelin announced 16 new Bib Gourmands for its 2021 Great Britain and Ireland Guide. These included Goldie in Cork; the Stag & Hounds in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire; the Square in Porthleven, Cornwall; Table Forty One in Gorey, Co. Wexford; Spitalfields pub in Dublin; Noto in Edinburgh; the Royal in St-Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex; the Kentish Hare in Bidborough, Kent; and Volpe Nera in Dublin.

London Bib Gourmands included Peckham Cellars, Legare in Southwark, Fallow and Mo Diner in Mayfair, Paradise in Soho, Volta do Mar in Covent Garden and Flor in Borough Market.

A first for this year, 23 green stars were also awarded to restaurants which have "really stepped up in their commitment to sustainable gastronomy". These included:

  • The Black Swan at Oldstead, York
  • Angela's, Margate
  • Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Oxfordshire
  • Coombeshead Farm, Lewannick
  • Daylesford Organic Farm, Stow-on-the-Wold
  • Inis Meain, Aran Islands
  • Inver, Strachur
  • Kai, Galway
  • L'Enclume, Cartmel, Cumbria
  • Loam, Galway
  • New Yard, Helston
  • Oxo Tower Brasserie, Southwark
  • Henry Robertson at Pale Hall, Llandderfel
  • Petersham Nurseries Café, Richmond
  • Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham
  • River Cottage Kitchen, Axminster
  • Silo, Hackney, London
  • The Dining Room at Whatley Manor, Malmesbury
  • The Small Holding, Kilndown
  • Where the Light Gets In, Stockport
  • The Ethicurean, Wrington
  • Hypha, Chester
  • Tredwells, Strand and Covent Garden, London

Sat Bains, whose Michelin-starred Nottingham restaurant also got a green star, said: "I'm so happy for Helene and Clare. They've both worked so hard for their awards. Clare is the epitome of three-stars and I'm so proud of her and chuffed for her and her team.

"I love that Tom Sellers got two stars as well, and that he was a bit emotional. It means so much, and it really does affect you."

"With regards to our Green Michelin Award, I'm delighted about that. As Michelin said, it really is the future. We're proud of the work we've done with the University of Nottingham and the reductions we've made in our carbon footprint. We've been massive advocates of being green for a long time, whether that's using well-sourced food, reducing energy, or shortening the working week – ensuring we continue to attract the best staff and retain them. Amanda and I took a leap of faith, closing the restaurant three days a week and its meant we're able to offer world-class working conditions and still offer a world-class level of food and service. "

Awards also included the Service Award, which went to Saul McConnell of Noble in Holywood, Co. Down; the Sommelier Award to Karine Canevet of Maison Bleue in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk; the Young Chef Award recognised Kray Treadwell of 670 Grams in Birmingham; and the Mentor Chef Award was handed to Ross Lewis of Chapter One in Dublin.

Kray Treadwell said: "To say I am thrilled to receive this award is an understatement. 2020 was something of a rollercoaster; from opening 670 Grams in the middle of a pandemic to welcoming my son into the world. To start 2021 by being recognised by the Michelin Guide in this way is a dream come true."

The awards follow an unprecedented year which has seen restaurants across the UK forced to close multiple times due to Covid restrictions. The annual star announcement was set for a "rock star" makeover in 2020, with 500 members of the public able to attend the event for the first time, joining 400 invited chefs and industry VIPs for a two-day event at the Camden Roundhouse in London. However, these plans were put on ice and the publication of the guide delayed due to coronavirus restrictions. It will also be the first time the guide is only published digitally.

Michelin claimed it started work on the 2021 guide in August 2019, meaning many of its inspections had been completed by the time restaurants were forced to close in lockdowns in March.

Photo: Shutterstock

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