Sketch in London awarded two Michelin stars as eight restaurants celebrate their first star

27 September 2012 by
Sketch in London awarded two Michelin stars as eight restaurants celebrate their first star

Pierre Gagnaire and Mourad Mazouz's Sketch in London was the capital's big winner in the new Michelin guide to Great Britain and Ireland, after being awarded two stars.

Spread over two expansive floors of a converted 18th-century building in Conduit Street in Mayfair, Sketch opened to critical acclaim in 2002. The restaurant, a collaboration between three-Michelin-starred French chef Gagnaire and celebrated restaurateur Mazouz, gained its first star in 2005.

Earlier this year, Sketch relaunched with new interiors by Turner prize-winning artist Martin Creed and a new menu created by executive chefs Jean-Denis Le Bras and Roel Lintermans.

Sketch chief executive Sinead Mallozzi told Caterer and Hotelkeeper the whole team was delighted with the second Michelin star. "We are speechless here at Sketch," she said.

"The day has been incredibly hectic as we weren't expecting the results until next week. We are honoured, humbled, thrilled and excited all in one."

London now has a total of eight two-star restaurants.

Among the London restaurants celebrating their first Michelin star is Dabbous, the first solo venture from former Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons and Texture chef Ollie Dabbous, which has been one of the capital's most celebrated openings of this year.

He said: "If you've stepped foot inside the restaurant, you'll realise we aren't concerned with ticking boxes for guidebooks. Nonetheless, it's a lovely pat on the back for my incredible staff, who deserve every accolade that comes their way. I'm glad Michelin enjoyed it and respect the fact they appreciate the simplicity and restraint of what we serve."

Stars were also awarded to Hedone; Medlar; Trishna; St John Hotel; Launceston Place and Alyn Williams at the Westbury.

Timothy Allen, head chef at Launceston Place, said he was totally surprised to have gained a star just eight months after joining the restaurant. "It's not something I expected at all," he said. "For me this year was about turning the business around, getting the team in place and settling down so we can drive it even harder next year. But you get a star when they give you one and if you're good enough you'll get it."

Alyn Williams added: "It's a really, really good feeling. It was something I was striving for but when you actually get it, it's a big sense of relief but also a big sense of achievement, not just for me but everyone involved."

Tom Aikens Restaurant in Chelsea has regained its star, which it lost after closing for an extensive refurbishment and relaunch, while the Petersham Nurseries Cafe in Richmond has retained its star following the departure of former head chef Skye Gyngell and the appointment of Greg Malouf.

Bad news for Gauthier Soho and Zafferano, though, both of which lost their Michelin stars. Williams said he was shocked and saddened to see Gauthier Soho lose its star. "Knowing Alexis Gauthier, I have no doubt he will knuckle down and bounce back and regain it next year. I really hope so as he is a very worthy inclusion in the guide," he said.

No new three stars in London

New two stars

Sketch, Mayfair

New one stars

Dabbous, Fitzrovia
Hedone, Chiswick
Tom Aikens Restaurant, Chelsea
Medla, Chelsea
Launceston Place, Kensington
Alyn Williams at the Westbury, Mayfair
Trishna, Marylebone
St John Hotel, Soho


One star to no stars
Zafferano, Belgravia
Gauthier Soho, Soho

New Bib Gourmands

Barrica, Bloomsbury
Made in Camden, Camden
Empress, Hackney
Princess of Shoreditch, Shoreditch
Bistro Union, Clapham
Provender, Wanstead
Elliot's, Southwark
Corner Room, Bethnal Green
Soif, Battersea
Brasserie Zédel, Soho
Copita, Soho

Michelin releases 2013 guide to Great Britain and Ireland early >>

By Kerstin KÁ¼hn

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