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Nigel Platts-Martin is not a man who courts publicity. You will not see his face on any reality TV show or smiling out from a cookery book cover. You're unlikely even to read any interviews with him in the press, and his name would probably draw little recognition from the general public.
Step into the world of hospitality, however, and his name is instantly recognised as one synonymous with quality, consistency and innovation. "Nigel Platts-Martin is a fantastic operator," said writer Simon Wright, a former editor of the AA Restaurant Guide. "As an example of how to do simple things really well, you can't beat him."
Above all else it was the consistency of Platts-Martin's offering that this year's judges felt deserved the trophy. Despite stiff competition and fierce debate, every judge spoke out in admiration of the man who has produced four incredibly successful and individual <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>