The Raby Hunt awarded two Michelin Stars

James Close and his team awarded two-stars
Raby Hunt Chef James Close and his team awarded two-stars

Michelin Guide 2017 unveiled at event in London

  • The Raby Hunt in County Durham – only restaurant to gain two-stars
  • Kevin Tickle’s Forest Side, Gilpin Hotel and Lake House in Cumbria and Sosban & the Old Butchers, North Wales, earned their first stars
  • Bib Gourmands awarded for the first time to: Scran and Scallie in Edinburgh; El Gato Negro, Manchester and Wine & Brime in Northern Ireland
  • Northern Irish chef Clare Smyth awarded the special ‘Female Chef’ award

FRESH from winning ‘Chef of the Year’ 2017 Good Food Guide, James Close and his team at the Raby Hunt in Durham, scooped two Michelin stars, thanks to their “passion and natural ability combining superbly.”  It has been four years since the first Michelin star was awarded to the restaurant.

Raby Hunt joins just two other restaurants in Northern UK that have achieved two-star Michelin status; Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles  and Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume, Cumbria.

Rogan also retained his one-star for Fera at Claridges, London.

North of England and North Wales had cause to celebrate with Kevin Tickle’s Forest Side, Gilpin Hotel and Lake House, Cumbria (head chef Hrishikesh Desai) and Sosban & The Old Butchers, North Wales earning their first stars.

Head chef Hrishikesh Desai, Gilpin Hotel and Lake House, Cumbria, earnt its first star
Head chef Hrishikesh Desai, Gilpin Hotel and Lake House, Cumbria, earnt its first star

Although there were no new stars awarded to restaurants in Scotland, nine scooped the ‘Bib Gourmand’ for good value, good quality cooking. These were: The Dogs, Passorn, Galvin Brasserie de Luxe, The Gannet, Ox and Finch and Stravaigin in Glasgow; the Kilbury Inn in Argyll & Bute and Osso in Peebles and the Scran and Scallie in Edinburgh; All had previously held the accolade, apart from the Scran and Scallie, which was granted the Bib Gourmand for the first time.

El Gato Negro, which has just relocated from Ripponden, West Yorkshire to Manchester scooped its first Bib Gourmand as did Wine & Brime in Moira, Northern Ireland.

El Gato Negro's chef patron Simon Shaw. Picture by Joby Catto,
El Gato Negro’s chef patron Simon Shaw. Picture by Joby Catto,

Northern Irish chef Clare Smyth, who was the first female chef in England to hold three Michelin stars and is about to open her own restaurant after leaving Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, was given a special “Female Chef” award.

Michelin-starred restaurants that had closed and therefore lost their stars included Sangster’s in Fife, due to the retirement of chef Bruce Sangster.

Scotland’s remaining twelve one-star restaurants are: Martin Wishart at both Loch Lomond and Edinburgh; Number One at the Balmoral, 21212, and Tom Kitchin in Edinburgh. Outside the city star-holders are: the Isle of Eriska in Argyll; Braidwoods at Dalry in North Ayrshire; Albannach at Lochinver; Boath House in Nairn; The Peat Inn in St Andrews and Kinloch Lodge on the Isle of Skye.

North England’s remaining one-star restaurants are: The Samling, Ambleside, Cumbria; Pipe and Glass Inn, Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire; Fraiche, Birkenhead, Merseyside; Northcote, Blackburn, Lancashire; Simon Radley at Chester Grosvenor, Cheshire; Star Inn, Harome, North Yorkshire; Box Tree, Ilkley, West Yorkshire; The Man Behind the Curtain Leeds, West Yorkshire; House of Tides, Newcastle; Black Swan, North Yorkshire and Yorke Arms, North Yorkshire.

In North Wales Tyddyn Llan, Denbighshire retained its one-star as did Eipic and Ox, both in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

North England’s Bib Gourmand retainers include: Twelve, Blackpool; The Dunsforth, North Yorkshire, Waggon, Bury; Joseph Benjamin, Chester; Prashad, West Yorkshire; White Swan, Lancashire; Chadwicks Inn, Yorkshire; Broad Chare, Newcastle; River Cafe on the Tyne, North Shields; Brassica Grill, Stockport; Le Langhe, York.

In Northern Ireland, Bib Gourmand retainers included: Belfast establishments Bar + Grill at James Street South; Deanes at Queens; Home; Fontana, North Down and Old Schoolhouse Inn, Lisbane.

The Michelin Guide 2017 also marks the 20th anniversary of the Bib Gourmand – Michelin’s award for good value, good quality cooking.

Michelin inspectors make anonymous visits and pay their own bills.

How to earn a Michelin Star:

The Michelin Guide was established in France in 1900.Since its inception, the criteria have been simple yet maddeningly opaque:

★ = ‘Very good cooking in its category’

★★ = ‘Excellent cooking – worth a detour’

★★★ = ‘Exceptional cuisine – worthy of a special journey’

Aim for:

★ Awarded for food quality and consistency of offering

The step from ★ to ★★ stars demonstrates the flair, creativity, consistency and quality of individual signature

★★★ represents extraordinary skill in displaying absolute mastery of classical through to modern cooking techniques and a philosophy of excellence.


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