2022 Michelin deletions: The Dining Room at Whatley Manor loses second star
The Dining Room at Whatley Manor has been demoted from two stars to one in the Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland 2022 following a change of chef.
Former executive chef Niall Keating left the kitchen in December after five years at the hotel restaurant, handing the reins over to Ricki Weston.
Keating joined Whatley Manor in 2016 and the restaurant won its first star in 2018, followed by a second in the 2020 guide.
The Dining Room reopened on 4 February after a short seasonal closure serving Weston's new menu, which has a greater focus on British heritage.
Weston told The Caterer he was "excited and pleased" to win a star for his new menu after only two weeks.
He said: "It's amazing that Michelin have already come down and shown their support. We've only just started getting going.
"I feel really positive. I know some people see it as going from two to one [stars] but it's a new chef and menu so I'm really happy with what it is and I'm super excited for the team."
When asked if it was his ambition for the restaurant to eventually return to two stars, Weston added: "Every chef who has one star will always want two, you always have that scope for evolution and progression. It's not something we're going to shy away from at all. It's still only the third week so we'll soak this in and keep pushing to potentially hopefully one day go back up to two."
Four restaurants which previously held one star and are still trading have lost the award, Michelin has confirmed.
L'Ortolan in Shinfield
Isle of Eriska in Eriska
Céleste at the Lanesborough hotel in London
Number One at the Balmoral hotel in Edinburgh.
Richard Cooke, general manager of the Balmoral, said the team was "extremely disappointed" as the restaurant had held a Michelin star since 2003.
He added: "Our talented team will continue to deliver exceptional food and service to our guests and we will truly work tirelessly to achieve this again in the future."
Elizabeth Kellett, restaurant manager at the Isle of Eriska, told the Caterer Michelin inspectors had been unable to visit the island restaurant due to Covid restrictions.
She said: "The star quite rightly went with [former head chef Graeme Cheevers] to his new restaurant [Unalome in Glasgow] and we are very happy for him. This now gives [head chef Ernst Van Zyl] and our amazing team the opportunity to win it in their own right and we are very excited for the future... with hopefully also the chance to turn our retained three AA rosettes into four."
Seven restaurants which have closed or changed concept in the past year have also been removed from the guide:
The Greenhouse in Dublin (formerly two-star, closed following departure of head chef Mickael Viljanen in 2021)
Davies and Brook at Claridge's, London (closed following the end of the hotel's partnership with chef Daniel Humm)
L'Ecrivain, Dublin (closed March 2021)
The Blackbird, Bagnor (relaunched by Dom Robinson as Renaissant, which is now recommended in the guide but does not hold a star)
Simon Radley at the Chester Grosvenor (closed following Radley's departure and set to relaunch as Arkle this year)
Crown at Burchetts Green, Maidenhead (closed by chef Simon Bonwick in December)
Chapter One, Dublin (previous incarnation of the restaurant. It has since reopened with new owners in a different location and won two stars)
Click here to find out which restaurants were awarded new Michelin stars today.
Winners of Michelin's Special Awards were announced yesterday. The 16 Bib Gourmands winners were announced last week with chefs and restaurant owners hoping the accolade will help attract new customers after a difficult trading period.
Photo: Shutterstock / sylv1rob1