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Shepherd Neame tenant picks up first Michelin star

23 January 2008 by

The Sportsman in Seasalter, Kent, flew the flag for the pub trade in this year's Michelin Guide as the Shepherd Neame tenancy picked up its first star.

Greyhound in Stockbridge, Hampshire and the Trouble House in Tetbury, Gloucestershire.

Steve Harris, proprietor at the Sportsman told Caterer: "We are very pleased. Sometimes it can seem a bit arbitrary with some people getting them and some people not but I just put it down to consistently good food."

Harris sources his produce from Kent but praised the skills of his chefs claiming "you can mess up good ingredients quite easily".

"The inspectors have been twice this year and I guess we ticked all the boxes. There is a big danger that people misunderstand what the star means. We are the kind of place that has paper napkins. We do not have a dining room and people eat in the pub - that is a very important aspect of what we do."

Matthew Tomkinson, winner of the Roux Scholarship in 2005, is head chef at the Goose. The pub had a Michelin star for two years under former chef-patron Mike North who left in March 2006. Since then Tomkinson has turned the former pub into a restaurant.

Tomkinson said: "We are over the moon. We have been hoping we would from our inspections over the past year but over the year we have wondered about what we could have done better."

He added that he had kept the bottle of champagne he had won as the Roux Scholar on ice but would be opening it with the staff tonight to celebrate.

No top awards for restaurants in this year's Michelin guide

Hibiscus fails to keep it's two-Michelin-starred status

England gains six new Michelin stars

London wins five additional Michelin stars

Scotland's total Michelin stars reaches 12

For more information on this year's Michelin stars click here

By Christopher Walton

E-mail your comments to Christopher Walton here.

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