The AA has announced the latest additions to its restaurant awards, with 21212 in Edinburgh honoured with four AA rosettes, and 13 restaurants across England winning three rosettes.
Kitching and partner Katie O'Brien opened 21212 in 2009 after running Juniper in Greater Manchester for 12 years, where they also held four AA rosettes. Located in a three-storey Georgian townhouse in Edinburgh's New Town, the restaurant comprises a 38-seat main dining room on the ground floor, as well as a 10-seat private dining room and lounge on the second floor and four bedrooms on the third.
The menu format offers up to five courses, with diners choosing from two starters, two main courses and two desserts, with one small dish served in between. The AA praised 21212 for Kitching's "exciting, artful, complex, even confrontational cooking that defies easy classification".
Commenting on the award, Kitching said: "It was wonderful to have three rosettes but we always wanted to get back to four. It's great for us and the whole team here but it's also great for Edinburgh - Tom Kitchin and Martin Wishart also hold this award and it's great to be back with the big boys. It's a relief and also a big stamp of approval from the AA."
Among the 13 restaurants to be promoted to the three-rosette-status, which rewards outstanding restaurants demanding recognition well beyond their local area, are Dabbous in London, and pubs the Sir Charles Napier in Chinnor, Oxfordshire, and Freemasons Country Inn in Wiswell, Lancashire.
Simon Rogan's Rogan & Co in Cartmel, the more casual sister restaurant two the five-rosette and two-Michelin-star L'Enclume, also celebrated three rosettes. Rogan said: "This is fantastic news as we're about to reopen Rogan & Co after a total refurbishment. It has been all about L'Enclume, Roganic and the Midland Hotel but Rogan & Co shouldn't be forgotten. It's run by Danielle Barry, a fantastic head chef who is turning out brilliant food and we have big plans for the restaurant this year."
Other winners include the Feathered Nest Inn in Gloucestershire and Titchwell Manor in Norfolk, as well as the Marquis at Alkham near Dover in Kent, where head chef Charles Lakin is in charge of the kitchen. General manager Ben Walton said: "We're all over the moon, it's another award recognising all the hard work. It's a good time of the year to get a bit of a boost as it's a bit quieter than usual."
AA hotel services manager Simon Numphud praised all of the new rosette additions. "All have demonstrated a high level of consistency and accuracy in the overall cooking standards that our inspection team have experienced," he said.
"To be awarded four rosettes a restaurant must show a passion for excellence, superb technical skills and intense ambition as well national recognition for its cooking and 21212 certainly covers all these. Restaurants serving food of a three rosette standard are worthy of recognition from well beyond their local area and I am delighted that these very deserving restaurants have been acknowledged for their efforts."
FOUR AA ROSETTES
THREE AA ROSETTES
Rogan and Co, Cartmel, Cumbria
Freemasons, Wiswell, Lancashire
Wynyard Hall, Billingham, County Durham
1851 Restaurant, Peckforton Castle, Peckforton, Cheshire
The Sir Charles Napier, Chinnor, Oxfordshire
Titchwell Manor, Titchwell, Norfolk
Lewtrenchard Manor, Lewdown, Devon
Royal Crescent Hotel, Bath
The Feathered Nest Inn, Nether Westcote, Gloucestershire
Marquis at Alkham, Dover, Kent
Paul Ainsworth at No 6, Padstow, Cornwall
Stoke Park, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire
By Kerstin KÁ¼hn
E-mail your comments to Kerstin KÁ¼hn here.
Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Catererandhotelkeeper.com jobs