Archive for November, 2011

Michelin Chicago 2012 Press Releases

Posted on: November 19th, 2011 by Simon Carter & Daniel Darwood

November 10th 2011 – Michelin today unveiled its second edition MICHELIN guide Chicago, showcasing the finest restaurants and hotels in the city. The MICHELIN guide Chicago 2012 offers a selection of 432 restaurants – 21 earning stars – and represents 45 types of cuisine. The guide goes on sale Wednesday, Nov. 16 at $18.99 in area bookstores and online outlets.

On Nov. 9, Michelin announced the list of 56 Bib Gourmand restaurants in the Chicago selection. Bib Gourmands are restaurants which serve two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less (excluding tax and gratuity). Fifty-six Chicago restaurants earned the Bib Gourmand designation. Bib Gourmand restaurants are identified in the guide by a red symbol depicting the head of Bibendum, the Michelin Man. The full list of stars and Bib Gourmands follows.

In this edition, Alinea maintained its three star rating, a global recognition of exceptional dining; only 101 restaurants worldwide currently hold three Michelin stars. Two restaurants earned two stars: Charlie Trotter’s and Ria. Eighteen restaurants earned a single star. The full list of star recipients follows.

The star ratings are as follows:

  • One star indicates “a very good restaurant in its category,” a place offering cuisine prepared to a consistently high standard.
  • Two stars (n) denote “excellent cooking, worth a detour,” skillfully and carefully crafted dishes of outstanding quality.
  • Three stars reward “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.” One always eats extremely well here, often superbly. Distinctive dishes are precisely executed, using superlative ingredients.

Starred restaurants and Bib Gourmands are only two of the multiple categories within the MICHELIN guide Chicago 2012. Others include the popular “Under $25” category, restaurants that serve brunch and those that stay open for late dining. In addition, restaurants with notable wine, sake and cocktail lists feature symbols for easy reference.

Michelin has done as much to enhance mobility as any company in the world. The company patented the pneumatic, or air-filled, automobile tire in the late 1800s. This was a milestone moment in mobility; it permitted automobile owners to travel at great length in a single journey. Then, in an effort to prompt travelers to enjoy their newfound mobility, the company created guides – and detailed maps – to steer travelers on their way. More than 1 million copies are sold each year.

Thanks to the rigorous MICHELIN guide selection process that is applied independently and consistently worldwide, the MICHELIN guide has become an international benchmark in gourmet dining. Twenty-seven MICHELIN guides cover 23 countries and three continents, and feature more than 45,000 addresses. The selection is made by anonymous, professional inspectors who are Michelin employees. Inspectors pay all their bills in full. To find out more about the MICHELIN guide inspectors and the history of the MICHELIN guide, visit

Michelin inspectors also share insider secrets on Twitter at @MichelinGuideCH.


Michelin Guide Chicago 2012 – The Bib Gourmands Selection

On Nov. 15, Michelin will announce the selection for its second edition of the MICHELIN Guide Chicago. Today, however, Michelin offers a sneak peek at the first collection of what’s in store from the MICHELIN Guide Chicago 2012 – the Bib Gourmand selection. Bib Gourmand selections are restaurants serving two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less (tax and gratuity not included). The MICHELIN Guide Chicago 2012 goes on sale Wednesday, Nov. 16, at $18.99.

56 Chicago-area restaurants have earned Bib Gourmand status in the latest edition of the MICHELIN Guide. The inspectors in Chicago found an excellent and diverse selection of restaurants meeting the criteria for the Bib Gourmand across the city and in a few of the closer suburbs.

The Bib Gourmand selection represents 21 types of cuisine – including Afghan, Barbecue, Mexican to Vegetarian – just to name a few. Introduced in the 1997 editions of the MICHELIN Guides in Europe, Bib Gourmand restaurants are identified in the guide by a red symbol depicting the head of Bibendum, the Michelin Man.

Michelin’s anonymous, professional inspectors are Michelin employees. They are all American men and women, who eat lunch and dinner in restaurants daily. Michelin inspectors apply the same working methods in all countries, which ensures a uniform, international standard. Inspectors pay all their bills in full, which guarantees an objective experience and report.

The Bib Gourmand selection for 2012 is:
(* denotes new selection for 2012)

Ann Sather
Arami *
Avec *
Belly Shack
Bistronomic *
Bristol (The)
Ceres’ Table
De Cero
Opart Thai House
Owen & Engine *
Paramount Room
Perennial Virant *
Publican (The)
Purple Pig (The)
Raj Darbar
Fogon *
Frontera Grill
Gemini Bistro *
Gilt Bar
Girl & The Goat
Green Zebra
GT Fish & Oyster *
Han 202
Jin Thai *
Kabul House *
Riccardo Trattoria
Sen *
Smoque BBQ
Sol de Mexico *
Spacca Napoli
Taste of Peru
La Creperie
La Petite Folie
Lao Sze Chuan *
Los Nopales
Lula Café
M. Henry
Maude’s Liquor Bar *
Mixteco Grill
Mundial Cocina Mestiza *
Thai Village
Twin Anchors
Urban Belly
West Town Tavern
Xni-Pec de Yucatan *
Yolo *


Readers can start enjoying the MICHELIN Guide Bib Gourmands in advance of the November 16 on-sale date. The Chicago Bib Gourmand selections can be found online at Michelin inspectors also share insider secrets via Twitter at @MichelinGuideCH.

Enhancing mobility is not only the mission of the Michelin Group but also of the MICHELIN Guide, which was created to assist travelers – and motorists in particular – by making their journeys more enjoyable. Now representing 23 countries and three continents, the collection of 27 MICHELIN Guides includes more than 45,000 addresses. In North America, MICHELIN Guides are available for New York City, Chicago, and the San Francisco Bay Area & Wine Country. For more information, visit

Michelin has done as much to enhance mobility as any company in the world. The company patented the pneumatic, or air-filled, automobile tire in the late 1800s. This was a milestone moment in mobility; it permitted automobile owners to travel at great length in a single journey. Then, in an effort to prompt travelers to enjoy their newfound mobility, the company created guides – and detailed maps – to steer travelers on their way.

Michelin Media Department, tel.: + 33 1 45 66 22 22



Michelin Eating out in Pubs 2012 Press Releases

Posted on: November 19th, 2011 by Simon Carter & Daniel Darwood

7th NOVEMBER 2012 – The 2012 edition of the Michelin Eating Out in Pubs guide will be available in bookshops and online from Friday 4 November, priced at £13.99 (€16.99 in Ireland).

This year’s guide recommends more than 530 pubs, spread across all parts of the country and selected for the quality of their food. Among these pubs are 86 new entries for 2012; this and the announcement in October that The Hand and Flowers in Marlow had become the first pub in the UK to receive two Michelin stars, means that there are plenty of good-news stories about the British pub.

Editor Rebecca Burr said: “We can all feel justly proud of our pubs and the way they have adapted to changing times. The pubs in our guide offer great food, often at competitive prices, and our inspectors keep discovering more and more of them. These pubs make terrific use of local produce and often champion regional specialities – some have taken to keeping their own livestock out the back and even the lowly bar snack has been getting a makeover.

All the elements that we feel make up a good pub are represented in our Pub of the Year, The Pipe and Glass Inn, in South Dalton. It’s personally run by James and Kate Mackenzie and their charming young team; they use local suppliers as well as produce from their own garden, the cooking is refined yet hearty and they never forget that theirs is a pub, not a restaurant.

Each entry in the guide comes with an in-depth description, a colour photograph and information about the style of cooking on offer and the real ales served. The guide also highlights ‘Inspectors’ favourites’ which are those pubs that are extra special, because of their setting or character, the charming service or the exceptional quality of their cooking.

Many of the pubs in the guide also offer accommodation and here there has been an enormous improvement in general standards over the last few years. Pub bedrooms are often now a match for any hotel, in terms of their comfort and style.

Our pubs are now the jewels of the hospitality industry,” concluded Rebecca Burr.

Michelin Pub of the Year

Following the launch of the 2012 edition of the Michelin Eating Out in Pubs Guide we are pleased to announce that our Pub of the Year is The Pipe and Glass Inn, in South Dalton, near Beverley.

Rebecca Burr, Editor of the guide, said: “This award is given to a pub which we feel offers something extra special. Here it is a combination of factors which include the warmth of the welcome, the friendliness of the staff, the character of the place and, of course, the food. The Pipe and Glass Inn is a wonderfully warm pub and nothing is ever too much trouble for the owners.

The Pipe and Glass Inn stands on the site of the original gatehouse to Dalton Park and the current building went up in the 17th century, although there has been much tinkering over the years, as well as periods of neglect. James and Kate Mackenzie took over what was a shell in 2006 and they haven’t stopped upgrading yet. Their steady approach has allowed them to get to know their customers well and vice versa, which is one reason why it has such a friendly atmosphere. This is also helped along by the delightful young team they have taken on.

James’s cooking has developed markedly over the years. He is a great advocate of local suppliers and also uses produce from his own garden. His cooking may display elements of refinement as well as some original touches, but it comes with an inherent and satisfying heartiness because, above all, James never forgets that this is a pub, not a restaurant.

The Pipe and Glass Inn
West End
South Dalton
HU17 7PN
Tel: 01430 810246

Michelin San Francisco & Bay Area Full PR 2012

Posted on: November 19th, 2011 by Simon Carter & Daniel Darwood

26th October 2011 – Bay Area Restaurants Shine in 2012 Michelin Guide

While three-star restaurants The French Laundry and Meadowood retain the highest distinction in the MICHELIN Guide San Francisco, Bay Area & Wine Country 2012, the newest edition offers three new two-star restaurants, Benu, Saison and Baumé. In addition, 39 restaurants earned a single star with five new entries in that category. The MICHELIN Guide San Francisco, Bay Area & Wine Country 2012 goes on sale Wed., Oct. 26, at $18.99.

The MICHELIN Guide San Francisco, Bay Area & Wine Country 2012 covers San Francisco proper, and a comprehensive spread of the Bay Area stretching from Los Gatos in the south to Geyserville in the north. Being included in the MICHELIN Guide is a sign of excellence and quality in each category and a total of 541 restaurants have been included this year. Of those, 77 are designated “Bib Gourmands,” which serve two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less (excluding tax and gratuity). A full listing of star recipients and Bib Gourmand restaurants may be found below.

The MICHELIN Guide San Francisco, Bay Area & Wine Country 2012 offers a wide assortment of categories for discerning diners. Among them is a new symbol created for the 2012 edition indicating restaurants serving breakfast, which includes 40 establishments. Of equal importance is the “Under $25” category, defined as restaurants serving a meal for less than $25 per person. This list includes 113 restaurants.

Michelin divides the guide into six sections: San Francisco City, East Bay, Marin, Peninsula, South Bay and Wine Country. Forty-six distinct cuisines are represented in the MICHELIN Guide San Francisco, Bay Area & Wine Country 2012, which showcases the spectacular culinary diversity of the region. Three new cuisines were added for 2012 as the inspectors continue to dine at every possible type of establishment to compile the best selection for our readers.

San Francisco is one of three U.S. cities where Michelin publishes a guide annually. The other two are New York City and Chicago. The MICHELIN Guide New York 2012, the city’s seventh edition, was introduced Oct. 5. And Michelin plans to introduce its second Chicago guide, MICHELIN Guide Chicago 2012, on Nov. 15.

Michelin has done as much to enhance mobility as any company in the world. The company patented the pneumatic, or air-filled, automobile tire in the late 1800s. This was a milestone moment in mobility; it permitted automobile owners to travel at great length in a single journey. Then, in an effort to prompt travelers to enjoy their newfound mobility, the company created guides – and detailed maps – to steer travelers on their way. More than 1 million copies are sold each year.

Thanks to the rigorous MICHELIN Guide selection process that is applied independently and consistently worldwide, the MICHELIN Guide has become an international benchmark in gourmet dining. Twenty-seven MICHELIN Guides cover 23 countries and three continents, and feature more than 45,000 addresses. The selection is made by anonymous, professional inspectors who are Michelin employees. Inspectors pay all their bills in full. To find out more about the MICHELIN guide inspectors and the history of the MICHELIN Guide, visit

Michelin’s San Francisco Michelin inspectors also share insights from their many meals on Twitter at @MichelinGuideSF.

To whet the appetite of Bay Area residents for the sixth edition of the Michelin Guide San Francisco, Bay Area & Wine Country being released next week, Michelin announced today 77 Bib Gourmand restaurants that are listed in its 2012 edition. Bib Gourmand selections are restaurants serving two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less (tax and gratuity not included).


Introduced in the 1997 editions of the MICHELIN Guides in Europe, Bib Gourmand restaurants are identified in the guide by a red symbol depicting the head of Bibendum, the Michelin Man. This year, 19 new restaurants in the Bay Area are new to the Bib Gourmand category, which indicates the inspectors’ favorites for good value. The full selection of restaurants – including those garnering the famous MICHELIN stars – will be announced Tuesday, Oct. 25, when Michelin formally introduces its complete selection for the MICHELIN Guide San Francisco, Bay Area & Wine Country 2012. The guide will go on sale Wednesday, Oct. 26, at $18.99.


October 20th 2011 – Michelin offers list of 77 Bib Gourmands Restaurants for San Francisco & Bay Area 2012.

The MICHELIN Guide San Francisco, Bay Area & Wine Country 2012 covers a wider geographic region than most of its peers, stretching from Los Gatos in the south to Geyserville in the north. Over the past year, Michelin inspectors have analyzed restaurants throughout Northern California, always anonymously. MICHELIN inspectors share insights from their many meals on Twitter.

The Bib Gourmand selections for 2012:
(* denotes new selection for 2012)

A 16
Artisan Bistro *
Bar Bambino *
Bar Tartine *
Bay Wolf
Bistro 29
Bistro Aix
Bistro Jeanty
Boon Eat + Drink *
Burma Superst
ar C Casa
Contigo *
Cook St. Helena
Cotogna *
Crouching Tiger
Cucina Paradisov
Fish Story *
flour + water
Fringale *
Hachi Ju Hachi
Hot Box Grill *
Ippuku *
K & L Bistro
Kabab & Curry’s
Kappou Gomi *
Kitchen (The)
Kokkari Estiatorio
LaSalette *
Le Charm
Le Garage *
Monti’s Rotisserie
Namu *
Osteria Coppa *
Plum *
Sazón *
Scopa *
Slanted Door (The)
Slow Club
Sushi Ran
Thai House
the girl & the fig
Willi’s Wine Bar
Wood Tavern
Yank Sing
Zero Zero *


With more than one million copies sold in approximately 100 countries, the MICHELIN Guide has always built its success on the diversity of its selections, especially with small establishments offering a high-quality dining experience at an affordable price. Hence, both the popularity and importance of the Bib Gourmand or “Inspectors’ Favorites for Good Value” category and the Under $25 category increased in number of offerings in the 2012 edition. Moreover, inclusion in the MICHELIN Guide is, in itself, synonymous with quality, because only the best establishments in each comfort and price category are featured in the guide.

Enhancing mobility is not only the mission of the Michelin Group but also of the MICHELIN Guide, which was created to assist travellers – and motorists, in particular – by making their journeys more enjoyable. Now representing 23 countries and three continents, the collection of 27 MICHELIN Guides includes more than 45,000 addresses. In North America, only three U.S. cities – New York, San Francisco and Chicago – currently have guides. For more information about the guides and the inspection methodology, visit



Michelin Guide New York 2012 Press Releases

Posted on: November 19th, 2011 by Simon Carter & Daniel Darwood

October 4th 2011 – In the latest edition of the MICHELIN guide – the MICHELIN guide New York City 2012 – Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare and Eleven Madison Park have joined five other New York restaurants at the Michelin three-star level, the highest recognition in the culinary world. In addition, 9 restaurants have achieved two Michelin stars – including new restaurants L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and SHO Shaun Hergatt. 46 restaurants earned one Michelin star.

Only 98 restaurants in the world currently hold three stars. Of them, 7 are in New York City. While “starred” restaurants have made the MICHELIN guide famous around the world, they account for just 10 percent of the total selection.

Being included in the MICHELIN guide is a sign of excellence and quality. In fact, 805 restaurants were selected for inclusion this year. Among them, MICHELIN inspectors included 16 different types of cuisine. The MICHELIN guide New York City 2012 has also added a new symbol ä indicating those restaurants serving breakfast.

Last week, Michelin announced the list of 114 Bib Gourmand restaurants from the latest New York edition. Bib Gourmands serve two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less (tax and gratuity not included). Bib Gourmands are known as our Inspector’s favorites for good value and deliver everyday excellence at a reasonable price. There were 31 new Bib Gourmand selections in the 2012 guide.

In the U.S., New York is one of only three cities where Michelin publishes a guide annually. The others are San Francisco and Chicago. The MICHELIN guide San Francisco 2012, the city’s sixth edition, will be introduced Oct. 24 and the MICHELIN guide Chicago 2012 will be announced on Nov. 15.

Michelin has done as much to enhance mobility as any company in the world. The company patented the pneumatic, or air-filled, automobile tire in the late 1800s. This was a milestone moment in mobility; it permitted automobile owners to travel at great length in a single journey. Then, in an effort to prompt travelers to enjoy their newfound mobility, the company created guides – and detailed maps – to steer travelers on their way.

Now representing 23 countries and three continents, the collection of 27 MICHELIN guides includes more than 45,000 addresses. Thanks to the rigorous MICHELIN guide selection process that is applied independently and consistently around the world, the MICHELIN guide has become an international benchmark in gourmet dining. The selection is made by anonymous, professional inspectors who are Michelin employees and is based on the same working methods in all countries. They pay all their bills in full. To find out more about the MICHELIN guide inspectors and the history of the MICHELIN guide, visit:

Present in North America since late 2005, the MICHELIN guide New York City 2012 goes on sale Wed., Oct. 5 2011 at $18.99.

29th September 2011 -Michelin Guide New York City Bib Gourmands list swells to 114 restaurants for 2012.

Though the full selection of the MICHELIN Guide New York City 2012 won’t be available for another week, Michelin announced today that 114 New York City restaurants have been included in the 2012 “Bib Gourmand” category. Bib Gourmand selections are restaurants serving two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less (tax and gratuity not included).

While the Michelin stars remain the most celebrated designation in the MICHELIN Guide, Bib Gourmand is a highly desired distinction among restaurateurs. In fact, the goal of inspectors is to provide comprehensive choices to accommodate the readers’ comfort, tastes and budget. Introduced in 1997, the Bib Gourmand symbol depicts the head of the Michelin Man, which indicates an inspector’s favorites for good value.

To celebrate its seventh year in New York, readers can start enjoying the MICHELIN Guide Bib Gourmands in advance of the Oct. 6 on-sale date. Michelin inspectors share insights from their many inspections via Twitter at @MichelinGuideNY. For more information on the Michelin inspectors and their methodology, please visit

Enhancing mobility is not only the mission of the Michelin Group but also of the MICHELIN Guide, which was created to assist travellers – and motorists in particular – by making their journeys more enjoyable. Now representing 23 countries and three continents, the collection of 27 MICHELIN Guides includes more than 45,000 addresses. In North America, MICHELIN Guides are available for New York City, Chicago, and the San Francisco Bay Area & Wine Country. For more information, visit

Michelin Guide Kyoto Osaka Kobe Nara 2012 PR

Posted on: November 19th, 2011 by Simon Carter & Daniel Darwood

MICHELIN Guide Kyoto Osaka Kobe Nara 2012: 15 restaurants with three stars, 61 with two stars (include 2 ryokans), and 224 with 1 star (include 2 ryokans)

Michelin is pleased to announce today the MICHELIN guide Kyoto Osaka Kobe Nara 2012, which offers a selection of the best hotels and restaurants in these four cities. The guide introduces a total of 385 establishments of which 296 restaurants, 48 hotels and 41 ryokans. Available in Japanese and English version, the MICHELIN guide Kyoto Osaka Kobe Nara 2012 goes on sale in Japan on October 21st.

In the MICHELIN guide Kyoto Osaka Kobe Nara 2012 selection:-

• 15 restaurants earned three stars (7 in Kyoto, 5 in Osaka, 2 in Kobe and 1 in Nara)

– Wa Yamamura from newly added, Nara, has gained three stars

– Two restaurants from Osaka, Fujiya 1935 and Koryu, have been promoted fromtwo to three stars.

• 59 restaurants earned two stars (29 in Kyoto, 15 in Osaka, 12 in Kobe and 3 in Nara) and 2 ryokans (all in Kyoto)

– 7 restaurants (1 in Kyoto, 2 in Osaka, 1 in Kobe and 3 in Nara) join the selection with two stars.

– 11 restaurants (7 in Kyoto, 3 in Osaka and 1 in Kobe) are promoted from one star to two stars.

• 222 restaurants earned one star (70 in Kyoto, 88 in Osaka, 43 in Kobe and 21 in Nara) and 2 ryokan (1 in Kyoto and 1 in Kobe)

– 61 restaurants join in the selection with one star (11 in Kyoto, 19 in Osaka, 10 in Kobe and 21 in Nara)_

-1 Korean Restaurant has newly joint our selection with one star (Osaka).

From the new area, Nara, 1 three stars, 3 two stars and 21 one star has been selected.

And 2 new three stars join the MICHELIN guide Kyoto Osaka Kobe Nara 2012 selection.

With this, the total number of three stars restaurants in the world has been raised to 101 (2) and 15 of them are in this guide. (2) As of October 18th and including MICHELIN guide New York City).

In the MICHELIN guide Kyoto Osaka Kobe Nara 2012 the selection has been enriched by the addition of a Korean restaurant with one star. In this year’s guide, 90% of the selection is made up of Japanese restaurants and includes traditional Japanese, soba, kushiage, Japanese contemporary, teppanyaki, sushi, yakitori, tempura, fugu, sukiyaki, oden, obanzai, shojin, yuba, and beef specialties, chicken specialties. The remaining is comprised of Steakhouse, French, French Contemporary, Fusion, Italian and Chinese.

Michelin updates the MICHELIN guides every year in order to provide most reliable information possible to our readers. All the restaurants and hotels selected in the previous edition are reexamined, and establishments which are not selected and which could be interesting for our readers are also inspected. Just after the launch of 2012 edition, Michelin inspectors, employees of Michelin, who have professional knowledge of hospitality industry and pay all their bills in full, have been anonymously evaluating restaurants and hotels for the next year’s selection.

In Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe and Nara, as in the 22 other countries covered by the MICHELIN guide, a consistent selection is ensured by awarding stars based on the same criteria. Stars in the MICHELIN guides have same value in all over the world meaning that a one star restaurant in Nara has the same quality as a one-star establishment in New York or Paris. The same five criteria are used for awarding stars whatever the country or the city: product quality, preparation and flavors, the chef’s personality as revealed through his cuisine, value for money, and consistency over time and across the entire menu. The criteria are adapted to each type of cuisine, notably Japanese cooking styles.

Stars apply only to “what’s in the plate,” meaning the quality of the cooking.

• Three stars mean exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.

• Two stars mean excellent cooking, worth a detour.

• One star means a very good restaurant in its category.

A restaurant that receives one or more stars is not only one of the best in its country but also one of the best in the world.  The comfort of restaurants, such as beauty of interior/exterior and hospitality, is classified by fork-and-spoon symbols.  Pavilions mean the comfort for hotels and the comfort for “Ryokan”.

Bernard Delmas, President of Nihon Michelin Tire expressed, “We are very pleased to present today the new MICHELIN guide Kyoto Osaka Kobe Nara 2012. This year we have discovered new stars in the newly added area, Nara, as well as in Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe which were already covered in 2011 edition. Japan is a unique country where many cities have a very high level cuisine. This is why, even though we have reached the 5th year anniversary of Michelin guide in Japan, we continue to discover new stars to introduce to our readers. We hope that this guide will bring wonderful times to the readers and that they will, in turn, discover the charm of Kansai area.

The first MICHELIN guide France was published in August 1900. Distributed free of charge (until 1920) and originally intended for chauffeurs, the guide contained a wealth of practical information, including tips on using and repairing tires, city street maps, and lists of gasoline outlets, hotels and mechanics. For the Michelin brothers, the objective was to speed the development of the automobile, and consequently the tire market. They wanted to promote and improve travel by making it safer and more enjoyable—in other words, by enhancing mobility, which is still today the common goal of Michelin’s maps, guides, at lases and other publications.

Every year, in more than 90 countries around the world, Michelin publishes some 10 million maps, atlases, tourist guides, and restaurant and hotel guides—always with the same focus on quality. Last year, more than 1 million copies of the MICHELIN guide were sold worldwide.

AA Restaurant Guide 2012 Press Release

Posted on: November 18th, 2011 by Simon Carter & Daniel Darwood

Tuesday 27 September 2011,  The UK’s Top Restaurants Get Recognition As The AA Announces New Higher Rosette Awards.

The AA announced the latest restaurants to achieve the higher Rosette awards at the AA Hospitality Awards hosted by Sophie Raworth at the London Hilton Park Lane on Monday 26th September.

A restaurants food quality is assessed by the AA inspectorate, who award AA Rosettes to establishments demonstrating mastery and excellence in this field. The achievement of five Rosettes is the pinnacle for any chef, and identifies the finest restaurants in the British Isles, where the cooking stands comparison with the best in the world. These restaurants have highly individual voices, exhibit breathtaking culinary skills and set the standards to which others aspire.

Achieving the highest culinary award of five AA Rosettes was The Latymer at Pennyhill Park  in Bagshot, Surrey. The Latymer restaurant is overseen by chef Michael Wignall who has an impressive track record having cooked at Michaels Nook and the Devonshire Arms.

Michael joined Pennyhill Park in 2007 and since then The Latymer has been completely refurbished including the addition of an eight-seater chef’s table so you can enjoy the tasting menu while watching the action in the kitchen. Four years on and having achieved four AA Rosettes in 2009, Michael’s food now has moved further on to the ultimate level. The cooking style is complex but delivered with immaculate precision. Depth of flavour is stunning, presentation beautiful and each dish is full of texture, vibrancy and excitement. Michael Wignall takes a highly technical, modern approach to his craft: dishes are complex, but based on classical themes, delivering light, elegant food with clear, intense flavours and exciting textures.

The new AA four Rosette-awarded restaurants for 2011-2012 are:

Glenapp Castle –  Ballantrae

• Ocean Restaurant at the Atlantic Hotel  – St Brelade

The new AA three Rosette-awarded restaurants for 2011 – 2012 are:

• Castle Terrace Restaurant  – Edinburgh

• Coworth Park  – Ascot

• Montagu Arms  – Beaulieu

• The Crown at Whitebrook  – Whitebrook

• Dinner by Heston Blumenthal  – London

• Feversham Arms  – Helmsey

• Fishmore Hall  – Ludlow

• Pollen Street Social  – London

• Roux at Parliament Square  – London

• Saddleworth Hotel  – Delph

• Theo Randall  – London

• Thornton Hall  – Thornton

AA Hotel Services manager, Simon Numphud, said: “We are very impressed with the quality of this year’s winners, who have demonstrated intense ambition and a passion for excellence, as well as superb technical skills and innovative menus. It is encouraging and refreshing to see that there are a number of establishments that continue to raise the standards and encourage excellence in the industry”.

The AA Hospitality Awards bring together some of the most influential people within the hospitality industry to recognise the outstanding accomplishments of high-achieving AA establishments and individuals. The award event also sees the launch of the 2012 AA guides to UK hotels and restaurants, which contain details of all the winning establishments.

Guests were treated to a magnificent gourmet meal created by five AA Rosette-awarded chef Pierre Gagnaire  in conjunction with the Hilton Park Lane kitchen team, and were entertained by Britain’s Got Talent stars Out of the Blue.  Selection is made based on overall excellence and the specific achievements throughout the previous year.

The complete list of AA Hospitality Awards 2011 – 2012 winners is:

 AA Hotel of the Year England – Gilpin Hotel & Lake House, Windermere

AA Hotel of the Year Scotland – Blythswood Square, Glasgow

 AA Hotel of the Year Wales – St Brides Spa Hotel, Saundersfoot

 AA Hotel of the Year London (sponsored by AA Business Insurance) – The Savoy, WC2

 AA Restaurant of the Year England – The Hand & Flowers, Marlow

 AA Restaurant of the Year Scotland – Gordon’s Restaurant, Inverkeilor

 AA Restaurant of the Year Wales – The Crown at Whitebrook

 AA Restaurant of the Year London (sponsored by AA Business Insurance) – Terroirs, WC4

 AA Wine Award England (sponsored by T&W Wines) – La Trompette, London W4

 AA Wine Award Scotland (sponsored by T&W Wines) – Rhubarb – the Restaurant at Prestonfield, Edinburgh

 AA Wine Award Wales & Overall (sponsored by T&W Wines) – The Bell at Skenfrith

 AA Pub of the Year England (sponsored by Karcher) – The Feathered Nest Inn, Newther Westcote

 AA Pub of the Year Scotland (sponsored by Karcher) – The Café Royal, Edinburgh

 AA Pub of the Year Wales (sponsored by Karcher) – The White Hart Village Inn, Llangybi

 AA Small Hotel Group of the Year (sponsored by Beacon) – Warner Leisure Hotels

 AA Hotel Group of the Year – Thistle Hotels

 AA Eco Hotel of the Year (sponsored by British Gas Business) – Lancaster London, W2

 AA Eco Hotel Group of the Year (sponsored by British Gas Business) – QHotels

 AA Chefs’ Chef (sponsored by – Chris and Jeff Galvin

AA Lifetime Achievement – Peter Lederer CBE


The AA Restaurant Rosette Criteria Defined (Reminder as per 2009)

One rosette

Chefs should display a mastery of basic techniques and be able to produce dishes of sound quality and clarity of flavours, using good, fresh ingredients.

Two rosettes

Innovation, greater technical skill and more consistency and judgement in combining and balancing ingredients are all needed at this level.

Three rosettes

This award takes a restaurant into the big league. Expectations of the kitchen are high: exact technique, flair and imagination must come through in every dish, and balance and depth of flavour are all-important.

Four rosettes

At this level, not only should all technical skills be exemplary, but there should also be daring ideas, and they must work. There is no room for disappointment. Flavours should be accurate and vibrant.

Five rosettes

The supreme accolade awarded only when the cooking is at the pinnacle of achievement. Flavours, combinations and textures show a faultless sense of balance, giving each dish an extra dimension.


Michelin Bib Gourmands GB&I 2012 Defined and Listing

Posted on: November 17th, 2011 by Simon Carter & Daniel Darwood

In the unique “language” of the Michelin Guide, the Bib symbols indicate the inspectors’ favourite establishments, offering high-quality products and services and good value for the money.

For even though the Michelin Guide is known and recognised for its “star” system, these restaurants represent only 5% of the selection, the rest of which is comprised of good, small, affordably priced establishments.

Among these establishments are the “Bibs,” with the Bib Gourmand symbol for restaurants and the Bib Hotel symbol.

Bib is short for Bibendum, the character created in 1898 from the imagination of the Michelin brothers, André and Edouard, and the pen of cartoonist O’Galop. Over the years, Bib—the one and only Michelin Man—has become the Group’s “mascot.” In the Michelin Guide, Bibendum’s head is a familiar, widely recognised red symbol.

The Bib Gourmand symbol was created in 1997. It indicates a restaurant offering good food at moderate prices. For the 2012 Guide, the price of a full meal (excluding drinks) is under £28 (40 euros in the Republic of Ireland).

The Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2012 includes 129 Bib Gourmands of which 28 are (New) Bib Gourmand restaurants, the full list is below:-

Lighthouse, Aldeburgh, Suffolk
The Wizard, Alderley Edge, Cheshire
New Inn, Backwell, Bristol
Jolly Cricketers, Beaconsfield / Seer Green, Buckinghamshire
Whites, Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire
Twelve, Blackpool / Thornton, Lancashire
Hinds Head, Bray, Windsor & Maidenhead
Chilli Pickle, Brighton and Hove, West Sussex
Ginger Pig, Brighton and Hove / Hove, West Sussex
Meadow, Brighton and Hove / Hove, West Sussex
Flinty Red (New), Bristol
Green’s Dining Room, Bristol
The Joiners (New), Bruntingthorpe, Leicestershire
At The Chapel, Bruton, Somerset
Hoste Arms, Burnham Market, Norfolk
Waggon, Bury, Greater Manchester
Pea Porridge, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
Hole in the Wall, Cambridge / Little Wilbraham
Freemasons, Clitheroe/Wiswell, Lancashire
Bay Horse, Darlington / Hurworth-on-Tees, Durham
Bakers Arms, Droxford, Hampshire
Bistro 21, Durham
Red Lion Freehouse, East Chisenbury, Wiltshire
Red Lion (New), East Haddon, Northamptonshire
Jack in the Green Inn, Exeter / Rockbeare, Devon
Pavilion, Guernsey / St Saviour, Channel Islands
St Clements, Hastings and St Leonards, East Sussex
The Ginger Fox, Henfield, West Sussex
Ingham Swan, Ingham, Norfolk
Walpole Arms, Itteringham, Norfolk
George and Dragon, Kelvedon, Essex
General Tarleton Inn, Knaresborough / Ferrensby, North Yorkshire
Piazza by Anthony, Leeds, West Yorkshire
Vennell’s, Masham, North Yorkshire
Red Lion Inn, Melton Mowbray / Stathern, Leicestershire
View, Millbrook / Freathy, Cornwall
Wildebeest Arms, Norwich / Stoke Holy Cross, Norfolk
White Hart Inn, Oldham, Greater Manchester
Anchor (New), Oxford, Oxfordshire
Magdalen Arms, Oxford, Oxfordshire
Mole Inn, Oxford / Toot Baldon, Oxfordshire
Rick Stein’s Cafe, Padstow, Cornwall
Untitled by Robert Wright (New), Penzance, Cornwall
Purefoy Arms, Preston Candover, Hampshire
Age and Sons, Ramsgate, Kent
Three Tuns (New), Romsey, Hampshire
Black Rock, St Ives, Cornwall
Artisan, Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Jim’s Yard, Stamford, Lincolnshire
Leaping Hare, Stanton, Suffolk
Peat Spade Inn, Stockbridge / Longstock, Hampshire
Old Buthers, Stow-on-the Wold, Gloucestershire
Rose & Crown, Sutton-on-the-Forest, North Yorkshire
Gumstool Inn, Tetbury, Gloucestershire
Owens (New), Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire
Old Spot, Wells, Somerset
Cat Inn, West Hoathly, West Sussex
Bull Inn, Wimborne St Giles, Dorset
Butchers Arms, Woolhope, Herefordshire
Berkeley Arms (New), Wymondham, Leicestershire
Dogs, Edinburgh
Stravaigin (New), Glasgow
Kilberry Inn, Kintyre / Kilberry, Argyll & Bute
Osso, Peebles, Borders
Sorn Inn, Sorn, East Ayrshire
Felin Fach Griffin (New), Brecon, Powys
chai st (New), Cardiff
Mint and Mustard (New), Cardiff
Oregano, Ballyclare, Antrim
Cayenne, Ballyclare, Antrim
Fontana (New), Holywood, North Down
Restaurant 23, Warrenpoint, Down
White Sage, Adare, Limerick
Sha Roe Bistro, Clonegall, Carlow
Chart House, Dingle, Kerry
Pichet, Dublin
Pig’s Ear, Dublin
Aldridge Lodge, Duncannon, Wexford
Good Things Cafe, Durrus, Cork
Fishy Fishy Cafe, Kinsale, Cork
Wild Honey Inn, Lisdoonvarna, Clare
O’Brien Chop House, Lismore, Waterford
O’Dowds, Roundstone, Galway
Box Tree (New), Stepaside, Dublin


Sushi Say (New)
Giaconda Dining Room
Salt Yard
Great Queen Street
Goldfish City
Azou (New)
Charlotte’s Bistro
Comptoir Gascon
Drapers Arms
Canton Arms
Fox and Grapes (New)
Brown Dog
Mango and Silk
Simply Thai
José (New)
Anchor and Hope
Brawn (New)
Galvin Café a Vin
St John Bread and Wine (New)
Cafe Spice Namaste
Triphal (New)
Hereford Road
Kateh (New)
Bar Trattoria Semplice
Trishna (New)
Al Duca
Barrafina (New)
Benja Bangkok Table
Bocca di Lupo
Koya (New)
da Polpo (New)
Opera Tavern (New)

Michelin GB&I 2012 PR and Star Listing

Posted on: November 17th, 2011 by Simon Carter & Daniel Darwood

(Stoke-on-Trent – 6 October 2011) – The Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2012 is launched today and will be available in bookshops from Friday 7 October, priced at £14.99 (€17.99 in Ireland).

This year’s guide sees the first British pub to be awarded two Michelin stars. The Hand and Flowers in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, was opened by Tom and Beth Kerridge in 2005 and received its first Michelin star the following year.

Editor Rebecca Burr said “This is a good news story for the British pub industry and confirms our view that pubs serving good food are the ones that continue to thrive. In the 2012 guide we are delighted to have 13 pubs with Michelin stars”.

“At the Hand and Flowers, Tom’s cooking has risen to new heights. His dishes are sophisticated yet familiar, and are a perfect match for the relaxed surroundings of his charming pub”.

The second restaurant to be promoted to two star level in the 2012 edition of the guide is Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham. Sat’s cooking has always been original and creative and now focus has been added to the flair. The restaurant gained its first star in 2003.

This year’s guide, published for the first time before Christmas, sees a wide geographical spread of new stars, stretching from the Driftwood Hotel in Portscatho, Cornwall to Glenapp Castle in Ballantrae, Scotland. There are three new stars in Scotland, one in Wales and four in London, which include ‘Dinner by Heston Blumenthal’. There are also three new pubs with one star.

The guide also highlights those restaurants that represent value for money. We are therefore delighted that this year a further 28 restaurants have been awarded a Bib Gourmand, the award given to those establishments offering good cooking but at moderate prices.

Rebecca Burr said “Our readers have told us how much they enjoy these places so we are very pleased that our inspectors have found so many new ones, particularly in London”.

Also launched today is the Michelin Guide London 2012, priced at £10.99(€12.99 in Ireland). This guide provides extended text on London’s restaurants, with additional photographs and information on all starred establishments. It also includes a selection of London’s best hotels, across all categories.

Michelin GB&I 2012 Complete Star Listing

Michelin Three Stars (Exceptional Cuisine, Worth a Special Journey)

Fat Duck, Bray, Berkshire

Waterside Inn, Bray, Berkshire

Gordon Ramsay, London

Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, London

Michelin Two Stars (Excellent Cooking, Worth a Detour)

Midsummer House, Cambridge

Gidleigh Park, Chagford, Devon

Le Champignon Sauvage, Cheltenham, Glos.

Whatley Manor (The Dining Room), Malmesbury, Wiltshire

Hand and Flowers (New), Marlow, Buckinghamshire

Restaurant Sat Bains (New), Nottingham

Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Oxford

Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Rock, Cornwall

Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles, Auchterarder

Patrick Guilbaud, Dublin

The Ledbury, London

Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley, London

Le Gavroche, London

Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, London

Hibiscus, London

Square, London

L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, London

Michelin One Star (Very Good Cooking in its Category)

Coworth Park (New), Ascot Surrey

Michael Wignall at The Latymer (at Pennyhill Park Hotel), Bagshot, Surrey

Fischer’s at Baslow Hall, Baslow, Derbyshire

The Park (at Lucknam Park Hotel), Bath

The Terrace (at Montagu Arms Hotel), Beaulieu, Hampshire

Pipe and Glass Inn, Beverley

West House, Biddenden, Kent

Fraiche, Birkenhead, Merseyside

Purnell’s, Birmingham

Simpson’s, Birmingham

Turner’s, Birmingham

Northcote, Langho, Lancashire

Morston Hall, Norfolk

Curlew, Bodiam, East Sussex

Burlington (at Devonshire Arms Country House), Bolton Abbey, North Yorkshire

Lords of the Manor, Bourton-on-the-Water/Upper Slaughter, Gloucestershire

Royal Oak, Windsor & Maidenhead

Casamia, Birstol

Manor House H. and Golf Club, Castle Combe, Wiltshire

Simon Radley at The Chester Grosvenor, Chesire

Pony & Trap, Chew Magna, Bath & NE Somerset

Sir Charles Napier, Chinnor / Sprigg’s Alley, Buckinghamshire

The Olive Branch & Beech House, Clipsham, Rutland

Apicius, Cranbrook, Kent

Ockendon Manor, Cuckfield, West Sussex

Sienna, Dorchester, Dorset

Butcher’s Arms, Eldersfield, Worcestershire

36 on the Quay, Emsworth, Hampshire

Read’s, Faversham, Kent

L’Enclume, Grange-over-Sands/Cartmel, Cumbria

The Pass, Horsham, West Sussex

The Neptune, Hunstanton, Norfolk

Box Tree, Ilkley, West Yorkshire

Atlantic, Jersey / La Pulente, Channel Islands

Bohemia (at Club Hotel & Spa), Jersey / St Helier, Channel Islands

Tassili (at Grand Hotel) N, Jersey / St Helier, Channel Islands

The Stagg Inn, Kington/Titley, Herefordshire

Mr Underhill’s at Dinham Weir, Ludlow, Shropshire

Harrow at Little Bedwyn, Wiltshire

Adam Simmonds at Danesfield House, Marlow, Buckinghamshire

Nut Tree, Murcott, Oxfordshire

Hambleton Hall, Oakham/Hambleton, Rutland

Black Swan N, Oldstead, North Yorkshire

Yorke Arms, Pateley Bridge/Ramsgill-in-Nidderdale, North Yorkshire

JSW, Petersfield, Hampshire

Driftwood, Portscatho, Cornwall

L’Ortolan, Reading, Berkshire

Drake’s, Ripley, Surrey

Mallory Court (The Dining Room), Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

Old Vicarage, Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Mason’s Arms, South Molton/Knowstone, Devon

Room in the Elephant, Torquay, Devon

Sharrow Bay Country House, Ullswater/Pooley Bridge, Cumbria

Auberge du Lac, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire

The Sportsman, Whitstable/Seasalter, Kent

Hambrough, Wight (Isle of)/Ventnor

5 North St, Winchcombe, Gloucestershire

The Black Rat, Winchester, Hampshire

Holbeck Ghyll, Windermere, Cumbria

Paris House, Woburn, Bedfordshire

Glenapp Castle (New), Ballantrae, South Ayrshire

Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond (New), Balloch, West Dunbartonshire

Braidwoods, Dalry, North Ayrshire

Castle Terrace (New), Edinburgh

Number One (at Balmoral Hotel), Edinburgh

21212, Edinburgh

Kitchin, Edinburgh

Martin Wishart, Edinburgh

Sangster’s, Elie, Fife

Inverlochy Castle, Fort William, Highland

Albannach, Lochinver, Highland

Boath House, Nairn, Highland

Peat Inn, Fife

Knockinaam Lodge, Portpatrick, Dumfries & Galloway

Kinloch Lodge, Skye (Isle of)/Sleat, Highland

Walnut Tree, Abergavenny/Llanddewi Skirrid, Monmouthshire

Tyddyn Llan, Llandrillo, Denbighshire

Crown at Whitebrook, Monmouth/Whitebrook, Monmouthshire

The Checkers (New), Montgomery, Monmouthshire

House (at Cliff House Hotel), Ardmore, Waterford

Chapter One, Dublin

L’Ecrivain, Dublin

Thornton’s (at The Fitzwilliam Hotel), Dublin

Bon Appétit, Dublin

Michelin One Star: London

Chapter One, Hakkasan Hanway Place, Pied à Terre, Club Gascon, Rhodes Twenty Four, Harwood Arms, River Café, La Trompette, North Road N, St John, Rasoi, Kitchen W8, The Glasshouse, Petersham Nurseries Café, Viajante, Galvin La Chapelle, Chez Bruce, Amaya, Apsleys (at Lanesborough Hotel), Pétrus, Zafferano, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal(at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park) N, Benares, Galvin at Windows (at London Hilton Hotel), Greenhouse, Hakkasan Mayfair N, Kai, Maze, Murano, Nobu (at The Metropolitan Hotel), Nobu Berkeley St, Pollen Street Social N, Semplice, Sketch (The Lecture Room & Library), Tamarind, Umu, Wild Honey, L’Autre Pied, Locanda Locatelli, Rhodes W1 (Restaurant), Texture, Seven Park Place (at St James’s Hotel and Club), Arbutus, Gauthier-Soho, Yauatcha, Quilon

Relais & Chateaux 2012 Press Release (UK)

Posted on: November 16th, 2011 by Simon Carter & Daniel Darwood

November 14, 2011: The Relais & Châteaux Guide 2012 introduces three new UK members located in Scotland – Greywalls Hotel and Chez Roux in Muirfield, Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa and Island in Argyll, and Restaurant Andrew Fairlie in Auchterarder – and one new member in Ireland , Ballyfin Demesne in Co. Laois.  Globally, 45 new members bring the total number of fine hotels and restaurants to 518 worldwide in almost 60 countries.  There are also five new destinations including Neuchâtel in Switzerland , Brussels in Belgium , Porto in Portugal , Beijing in China , and, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia .

Relais & Châteaux is proud to welcome the distinguished Brazilian author, Paulo Coelho, as the new Relais & Châteaux Ambassador 2012 and names 19 new Grands Chefs – five promoted from within the existing membership and 14 that are also new members – increasing the total number of Grands Chefs Relais & Châteaux to 160 of which seven are located in the UK and Ireland .  The 2012 trophy winners are also featured.  Brief details of the new members, new Grands Chefs and 2012 trophy winners follow in alphabetical order (unless otherwise stated):


Ballyfin Demesne: Irish Regency mansion in stunning garden estate at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains, Co. Laois , Ireland

Greywalls Hotel and Chez Roux: next to the Muirfield golf course, Berwick , Scotland

Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa and Island: a 120 hectares island, Argyll , Scotland

Restaurant Andrew Fairlie: within Gleneagles, Auchterarder , Scotland , UK


Anne de Bretagne: contemporary villa on the Jade coast of Saint Malo , France

Beau-Rivage Hotel: overlooking Lake Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Bellevue Syrene 1820: with views of the Gulf of Naples – in Sorrento , Italy

Castillo de Arteaga:  a castle in Urdabai natural park, Spain

Chalet de la Forêt Restaurant: a forest location close to Brussels , Belgium

Combal.Zero Restaurant: culinary art at the Rivoli Museum of Modern Art, Italy

De Lindenhof: magical décor and dishes on the Giethoorn waterfront, The Nertherlands

Het Roode Koper: within the Veluwe forest in The Netherlands

Hôtel Au Cœur du Village: Les Aravis ski resort in La Clusaz, France

Hotel Le Place d’Armes, in the town centre of Luxembourg

Hotel Restaurant Spa Rosengarten: in the Tyrolean village of Kitzbühel , Austria

La Bastide: 18th century charterhouse in Gascony , France

La Peschiera: former Bourbon fishery on the Adriatic coast, Monopoli , Italy

Maison Decoret: a Napoleon III chalet in Vichy , France

Neri Hotel & Restaurant: medieval palace and 18th century mansion, Barcelona , Spain

Ramon Freixa Madrid Restaurant: Mediterranean cuisine in Madrid , Spain

Restaurant Guy Lassausaie: at the gateway to the Beaujolais region, Lyon , France

Saint James Paris: château-hotel, close to Champs Elysée, Paris , France

Schlosshotel Burg Schlitz: in a fine 19th Century estate, West Pomerania, Germany

The Yeatman: in the heart of Porto , Portugal

Villa Crespi:  Moorish villa on Lake Orta , Piedmont , Italy


Algodon Mansion : 1920s mansion in La Recoleta district of  Buenos Aires , Argentina

Awasi: among the geysers, volcanoes and salt flats of the Atacama desert, Chile

Del Posto Restaurant: classic Italian food in the heart of New York City , USA

Hastings House Country House Hotel: Salt Spring island, opposite Vancouver , Canada

Marea Restaurant: Italian seafood on Manhattan ’s Central Park South, USA

Ocean House: Victorian mansion on Rhode Island , New England , USA

Restaurant Europea: local terroir of Montreal , Canada

The Ranch at Rock Creek: quintessentially the wild west, Montana USA

Twin Farms: secluded in Vermont , USA

The Surrey Hotel & Spa: Beaux-Arts townhouse, Manhattan ’s Upper East Side, USA


Bettei Senjuan: with views of Mount Tanigawa , Japan

Huka Lodge: on the banks of the Waikato River , upstream from Huka Falls , New Zealand

JE Mansion: at the heart of the business district of Beijing , China

Jinmai Brilliant Resort & Spa: amid the world’s largest tea garden in the Yunnan , China

Kashiwaya Restaurant: purest Japanese culinary tradition in Osaka, Japan

Le Moût Restaurant, French expertise/Asian flavours in Taichung , Taiwan

Qualia: on Hamilton Island , Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Saffire: in the heart of Freycinet National Park, Tasmania , Australia

Villa Samadhi: geniuine peace in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Wanakarn Beach Resort & Spa: one of 15 villas on the beach front near Phuket , Thailand

NEW GRANDS CHEFS (19 – in alphabetical order of restaurant name):

Joseph Lenn: Blackberry Farm , Tennessee , USA

Pascal Devalkeneer: Chalet de la Forêt, Brussels , Belgium

Gunnar Thompson: Château de Sureau , California , USA

Davide Scabin: Combal.Zero, Rivoli , Italy

Martin Kruithof: De Lindenhof, Giethoorn, The Netherlands

Mark Ladner & Mario Batali: Del Posto, Manhattan , USA

Peter Tempelhoff: Greenhouse at The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel, Cape Town , South Africa .

Christophe Bacquié: Hôtel du Castellet , Provence , France

Simon Taxacher: Hotel Restaurant Spa Rosengarten, Kitzbühel , Austria

Antonio Guida: Il Pellicano , Tuscany , Italy

Lan-Shu Chen: Le Moût Restaurant, Taichung , Taiwan

Jacques Decoret: Maison Decoret Vichy , France

Michael White & Jared Gadbaw: Marea, Manhattan , USA

Ramon Freixa: Ramon Freixa , Madrid , Spain

Andrew Fairlie: Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, Auchterarder , Scotland

Jérôme Ferrer: Restaurant Europea, Montreal, Canada

Guy Lassausaie: Restaurant Guy Lassausaie, Lyon , France

Hideaki Matsuo:  Restaurant Kashiwaya on the outskirts of Osaka , Japan

Antonino Cannavacciuolo: Villa Crespi, Piedmont , Italy



Art de la Table Trophy for beautiful table presentation: Atrio Restaurante & Hotel in Cáceres ( Spain )

Environment Trophy (supported by Orlane) for absolute consideration of the environment working in harmony with nature: Il Melograno ( Italy )

Garden Trophy (in association with Rozès) for the most beautiful garden: Fearrington House Country Inn & Restaurant (USA)

Grands Chefs Trophies (in association with Taittinger) for gourmet cuisine, presented to five chefs:  Christophe Bacquié, at Hôtel du Castellet ( France ); Antonio Guida of Il Pellicano ( Italy ); Peter Tempelhoff of The Greenhouse at The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel ( South Africa ); Gunnar Thompson of Château de Sureau and Joseph Lenn of Blackberry Farm (USA).

Innovation Trophy (in association with Nespresso) for skilful blending of tradition and innovation: Chiu Family of the Villa 32 in Taiwan

Lounge Trophy (in partnership with Grand Marnier) for an exquisite interior design and relaxing ambience: Oriental Lounge of the Grand Hôtel du Lac ( Switzerland )

Passion Trophy (in partnership with Hennessy) for commitment to the Relais & Chateaux values: Cédric Morel, Owner and Maître de Maison of Château de Feuilles ( Seychelles )

Rising Chef Trophy (supported by All-Clad) for the most promising rising stars of the association  to Sébastien Sevellec of La Villa in Calvi (France) and to Fabrice Vulin at the Château de la Chèvre d’Or ( France

Savoir-Faire Trophy (supported by Genmorangie whiskies) in recognition of team-work, creativity, professionalism and excellence: Restaurant Schwarzwaldstube ( Germany )

Spa Trophy (in association with Laurent-Perrier) for a sublime Spa and well-being facility: La Côte Saint-Jacques & Spa (France)

Welcome Trophy (in partnership with Dom Pedrignon) for a sense of hospitality: Restaurant Richard et Christopher Coutanceau in La Rochelle , France

Woman of the Year Trophy (in partnership with Pommery): Carme Ruscalleda, Grand Chef and owner of Restaurant Sant Pau ( Spain ).

Reservations:  / 00 800 2000 0002 (toll free) or download from the press website at

Relais & Châteaux is an exclusive collection of around 518 of the world’s finest hotels and restaurants in 60 countries.  Established in France in 1954, the Association’s mission is to spread its ‘art de vivre’ across the globe by selecting outstanding character properties.  Relais & Châteaux is also a family of hoteliers and grands chefs from all over the world who share a passion for their work and a personal commitment to making every guest’s visit an unforgettable treat for the senses.  From the Napa valley vineyards to the beaches of Bali , via Provençal olive groves and South African game lodges, Relais & Châteaux has special places in every favourite corners of the world.

The Relais & Châteaux signature reflects this ambition:  “ALL AROUND THE WORLD, UNIQUE IN THE WORLD.“  Maison des Relais & Châteaux: 10 Beauchamp Place, Knightsbridge, London SW3 1NG

Manson Restaurant Review, London (October 2011)

Posted on: November 15th, 2011 by Simon Carter & Daniel Darwood
Alan Stewart

Head Chef: Alan Stewart


The southern end of the Fulham Road, replete with restaurants of all kinds, has rarely seen any of distinction. However, since its opening in 2010, Manson has attracted positive reviews and a loyal local following. This seems likely to increase further with the arrival of a new head chef Alan Stewart in October, 2011.

Not that the physical look of the restaurant, located at the junction of Fulham Road, and Rostrevor Road, has changed. Like Sands End, also in Fulham and under the same ownership, its casual, rustic décor evokes the glories of the classic British country pub. The predominant material is wood:  floor, bare tables, attractive shelving, and the bar itself. Side seating of comfortable leather buttoned banquettes and eclectic hanging lamps help to produce a cosy, intimate feel even in the spacious, partially mirrored room.

Now self-styled as a British brasserie with 70 covers, Manson is producing food of a much higher level. This is hardly surprising given Alan Stewart’s CV which includes head chef for Tristan Welch at Launceston Place and two years in the kitchens of Chez Bruce under Bruce Poole. Like them, the use of seasonal and, as far as possible, local produce is axiomatic. Indeed, he has gone further than his mentors by adopting a sustainable “field to fork” approach. Thus the provenance of food is largely from allotments – his own and local residents’ –and foraging of hedgerows and forests, whilst small Cumbrian farms are the main source of meat. Admittedly, the last is hardly local, but shows the lengths he is prepared to go for quality. Moreover, the preparation restaurants often leave to others, such as butchering whole animals, smoking fish and meat and baking bread, are all done in house.

Alan Stewart’s skilled, unpretentious cooking allows clear, pure flavours to shine through. Dishes sound simple but require serious, painstaking attention. Timings are precise and techniques confidently assured. Combinations on the plate may sometimes be unconventional but are always harmonious. The trend for long slow cooking sous-vide is avoided, whilst foams, purees and smears are noticeable by their absence.

The dinner menu, which includes seven starters and eight mains, is traditionally British, although some dishes are given a contemporary interpretation.  It features Colchester oysters and smoked Cornish mackerel from seven starters and Cumbrian suckling pig and Herdwick mutton amongst eight mains. (Prices range from £6.00 – £9.50 for starters, £11 – £28 for main dishes and desserts are £6.00)

At lunch there is a slightly shorter carte, with a good value set lunch  from Monday to Fridays (£13.50 for two courses and £17.50 for three). On Saturdays brunch items such as eggs Benedict are also available, and traditional roasts feature at Sunday lunch.

fine-dining-guide visited Manson in early October to sample Alan’s game dishes.

The meal began with excellent bread, with crisp crust and firm crumb. The butter was home churned, rare in even the most accomplished restaurant kitchens

The first course was a Scottish venison tartar. The chopped haunch meat, mixed with shallot and cooked beetroot, dressed with rapeseed oil vinaigrette and seasoned with juniper pepper, had a mild flavour and a softness which melted in the mouth.  A creamy, perfectly smooth celeriac puree and pickled girolles gave an earthy dimension, whilst shaved Kentish cobnuts added crunchy textural contrast. The matching red wine with its bouquet of red berries, was fresh on the palate with a hint of  spice and good acidity. (Wine: Little Yerring Pinot Noir, Yering Station, Victoria, Australia)


Red leg partridge from Kent exemplified two different techniques. The tougher leg meat has been braised, taken off the bone and set like a terrine with parsley. The softer breast had been roasted medium. The result was a beautifully tender bird with a hint of sweetness. The accompanying poached and seared quince gave richness, whilst the dish was dressed with a well balanced honey, whiskey and lemon vinaigrette. Toasted nuts and land cress added texture, colour and a mild peppery quality. The white wine served with the partridge had a hint of roasted and honeyed richness which complemented the dish perfectly.
(Wine: Limousin Reserva, Marques de Riscal, Rueda, Spain)


Yorkshire grouse, deconstructed like the partridge, has its breast roasted pink to maximise its flavour and its legs fully cooked.  Whilst the expected pate of the bird’s offal served on a cruton (of seeded treacle bread) was offered, traditional game chips and bread sauce were missing. Instead, pickled damson and damson jam were used to cut the deep gaminess of the grouse and its intense sauce. Lightly cooked Savoy cabbage, gave a lively freshness which relieved the intense richness of the game.   Although more conservative diners might recoil at these modifications to the classic accompaniments, others will welcome the lighter contemporary approach. The full bodied wine, with its complex, intense bouquet of chocolate and blackberries and velvety palate, stood up well to the dish. (Wine: Riferno Rossa Riserva, Camillo De Lellis, Molise, Italy)


For dessert, the Tarte Tatin was a model of its kind with crisp pastry and softly baked, deeply caramelised apples. The use of  Kentish Braeburns, which retain their texture better than other varieties, was an inspired choice. The accompanying clove ice cream, smooth and gently spiced was equally accomplished. The paired sweet wine, with its honeyed, peachy notes, worked well with this delectable dessert. (Wine: Coteaux du Layon, Loire, France)


Service, headed by Alan’s sister Laurie, was as knowledgeable, attentive and unobtrusive as at La Trompette where she previously worked. The flight of wines were selected from an extensive list of over 60 bins which also include some English wines. Prices are reasonable, from £4.50 a glass and £17.90 a bottle.

Overall, the serious quality the cooking at Manson is a testament to the skill and imagination of the kitchen. This is high level dining without the luxurious surroundings, tablecloths and stiff formality. Alan Stewart and his team have created a brasserie style restaurant of which they can be justifiably proud. Even in these early days, the potential shown is very strong indeed and is likely to attract those from further afield as well a regular locals.

Manson on Urbanspoon

Lyttelton Restaurant Review (October 2011)

Posted on: November 15th, 2011 by Simon Carter & Daniel Darwood

St James’s has long been associated with English upper crust luxury and elegance. Amongst its handsome Georgian and  Victorian buildings are historic gentlemen’s clubs, internationally renowned hotels, exclusive department stores and specialist wine merchants. History and convention are almost palpable, making the area more resistant to change than other areas of the West End.

Nevertheless, over the last twenty years there has been a flowering of fine dining restaurants. Whether independent establishments or in hotels, their chefs have raised the reputation of this once gastronomically barren district.

One establishment to benefit from this long term trend is the Stafford Hotel. Discreetly tucked way in St James’s Place, it has undergone a major renovation programme which includes a restyling of its restaurant, renamed the Lyttelton, and the recruitment, in January 2011, of a new executive chef, Brendan Fyldes

With a reputation as a bastion of tradition and formality, the hotel has nevertheless decided to adopt a “casually elegant” approach in its restaurant, “as if dining in a friend’s home.” However, this assumes a grandiose residence complete with elaborate plastered ceiling cornices, a custom made chandelier, eclectic artwork and a backdrop of rich fabrics. Such is the sumptuous décor of the Lyttelton, with its ivory and grey colour scheme, floral carpet and chinzy low back chairs. Unfortunately, the dining area is not enclosed, being separated from the lounge by a row of arches. Thus, diners are distracted by the regular flow of guests passing from reception to the American Bar and courtyard rooms. Whether the planned screens will rectify the
problem has yet to be seen.

With a CV that includes being Head Chef at Richard Corrigan’s Bentley’s and experience in the Michelin starred restaurants of Nigel Howarth and Paul Heathcote, Brendan Fyldes’s pedigree is impeccable. At the Lyttelton, he has found the ideal home to construct a menu which showcases British cuisine with his own rustic imprint. His use of imaginative combinations of high quality ingredients in a seasonally changing menu has injected new life into the kitchens of the Stafford.

Given the essential traditional nature of the menu, many of the features of contemporary cuisine were refreshingly absent: no amuse bouches, pre desserts or petit-fours; no smears, foams, purees or coulis; and no slow cooked or sous-vide dishes. Instead, portions are large and conservative cooking methods but produce clear, deep and often robust flavours.

On the autumn menu conventional starters such as Maldon Oysters and Smoked Salmon, feature alongside more unusual Lancashire Goat’s curd and Oysters with Crubeens.  Main courses were garnished imaginatively: rack of Welsh lamb with haggis, ‘neeps and tatties; Old fashioned English duck with chargrilled autumn squash, plums and quince; and Wild sea bass with chickpeas, chorizo and sea vegetables. Savouries such as Lancashire rarebit or Blue Monday with Harcake and beer jelly are offered as alternatives to classic British desserts such as rice pudding or Autumn trifle.

fine-dining-guide visited Lyttelton on a weekday evening in September and found much to admire in the food and service.

English crab was wonderfully fresh, with a good balance of sweet white and rich, creamy brown meat. It was correctly dressed with chopped egg, mayonnaise and lemon wrapped in muslin. Here was a simple dish the success of which rested on the essential quality of the main ingredient.


Lyttelton Cocktail was a very generous combination of shellfish: the lobster was perfectly cooked to retain its delicate succulence; white crab meat was sweet and mild whilst small brown shrimps added a briny note. These were not drowned in the well made Marie Rose sauce and the lettuce was noticeable, unlike many inferior versions, by its relative absence. The whole langoustine perched on top gave a spectacular look to the dish. (Wine with first courses: Puligny Montrachet Domaine Henri Boillot 2009)


Yorkshire Grouse proved to be the highlight of the evening, rightly so for a hotel noted for its game cookery. The young bird had been precisely roasted, but, discarding tradition, its breasts and legs being taken off the carcass. The breasts were beautifully tender, sweet and delicately gamey, whilst the legs had a more pronounced flavour. The strongest taste came from its cooked offal, spread on a fried crouton. A rich grouse jus, smooth bread sauce and crisp game chips completed this deliciously robust meal.


Less successful was Gloucester Old Spot suckling pig.  Served without crackling, it deprived the diner of main joy of this porcine treat. The flavoursome loin, home made black pudding and forcemeat croquette which comprised the three elements of the assiette worked well together but needed the thin crisp skin to lift the whole dish. However, the rich cider jus provided the acidity needed to cut the richness of the meat, whilst Savoy cabbage and celeriac puree were suitable garnishes. (Wine with the main courses : Red Burgundy.)


Of the six puddings, which were less complex that the starters and mains, Burnt Cambridge Cream had a lighter texture than the classic crème brulee. Autumn trifle was similarly less heavy than traditional versions of this British dessert.

Creme Brulee

Service at the Lyttelton is as highly polished as the furniture and fittings. Staff are knowledgeable, solicitous and unobtrusive.  Outstanding amongst these is the engaging Gino Nardella, Master Sommelier.  His forty years’ experience in the profession has given him an encyclopaedic knowledge and deep understanding of wines. This is communicated with a dedicated passion and infectious enthusiasm that can only come from a master of his craft.

A tour of the wine cellars proved fascinating, dating back some 360 years, with not only racks for around 6,000 bottles but also space for an atmospheric, cavernous room replete with a long dining table to seat up to thirty for special occasions. Elegantly set up wine tasting arrangements were found in another, arched, adjoining room and further a small museum dedicated to the time the cellars spent as an air raid shelter during world war two.  Mr Nardella, you might imagine, would prove the most charming host to evenings well spent in these cellars.

Overall, there is much to recommend in the food and service at Lyttelton. Whilst some might not be enamoured of the room or the concept of “casually elegant” dining, there is no doubt as to the potential of the reinvigorated kitchen. For those seeking traditional British dishes with a contemporary twist, this restaurant will more than satisfy their needs.

Interview: Michelin Editor, Rebecca Burr (October 2011)

Posted on: November 7th, 2011 by Simon Carter & Daniel Darwood

Rebecca Burr has just completed her first year as editor of the industry’s leading guide – The Michelin Red Guide to Great Britain & Ireland. She also maintains responsibility for the London Guide, The Eating Out in Pubs Guide and The Main Cities of Europe Guide. Rebecca found time to meet with fine-dining-guide for an in-depth interview, which took place in early October in the lounge of The Grosvenor Hotel, London. Interview by Simon Carter and Daniel Darwood

Congratulations on completing your first year! Has it been an exciting roller-coaster ride?

Thank you. Well it’s actually been a really smooth transition, there’s an experienced, high quality team in place and it’s been a professionally exciting, busy and enjoyable year.

Tell us some background about yourself?

I’ve been with Michelin twelve years as an inspector and have just completed my first year as editor. Originally, like the majority of my colleagues, I went to Hotel school for three years and trained as a chef. I worked as a private chef to various people; work which took me travelling around the world. This mix has stood me in good stead in my work with Michelin, not just in the traditional sense but also in terms of the dynamic nature of the world in which we live today!

What are your exact roles and responsibilities?

I have assumed responsibility for Michelin GB&I Hotel and Restaurant Guide, The Eating out in Pubs Guide, The London Restaurant Guide and The Main Cities of Europe Guide. In this regard the roles and responsibilities are a direct transition from my predecessor Derek Bulmer.

What is your summary of restaurant trends reflected by the Michelin 2012 Guide GB&I?

Firstly, the restaurants and the chefs set the trends and the guide is merely an observer. I would say that the fact that there are twenty-eight new bib gourmands with thirteen of those based in London says there’s a lot of exciting food in many establishments that have moderate prices. This may be from no bookings with small plates of Italian food through the diversity of restaurant offerings that reflects Britain so well. In fact the Guides are proud to reflect the cultural diversity of establishments in Britain and indeed equally so in all those locations around the world where Michelin offer a Guide.

Restaurants in certain parts of the country are possibly feeling the economic times more than others, although our inspectors have come back from some restaurants impressed with the number of covers achieved where restaurants are beating their numbers year on year and still exceeding their expectations of business.

What do you make of the ‘foraged, organic and sustainable’ trends in fine dining?

I think these establishments are great and rightfully have their place in modern fine dining. If you look at foraging in particular, this can lead to some fascinating creations and the guide is supportive of restaurants that employ these methods.

As with all restaurants, it comes down to the chef and creating something that has an eye on the end product at a given price point. Perhaps in some cases (where foraging is concerned) chefs have to watch that they’re creating something that the customer wants rather than being self-fulfilling – having said this, those that do it well do it very well indeed.

What is your view of the (for want of better descriptors) ‘brasserie/bistrot’ culture in London new openings, do they have a role to play in Michelin for the future?

Just as there’s room for new restaurants of all kinds in the London scene, so there is too in the Michelin Guide. We have a number of categories that go beyond the stars – including bib gourmand. Having said that I can think of several examples of these kinds of restaurants that are starred in the 2012 GB&I Guide and so long as that trend continues (in terms of restaurants delivering good food) then long may Michelin continue reflecting that back to our readers.

Can you explain the star awarding process?

We certainly don’t have a piece of paper to hand over to the chef that says ‘this is how you do it.’ Each establishment will be viewed on its own merits.

Once a restaurant is visited, should there be potential for a star or a promotion it will mean subsequent visits by a team of inspectors.

These inspectors are drawn from an international pool from all around the world (there are seventy across Europe, ten in Asia and ten in the United States; for example I have one over from Germany working with GB&I at the moment and we have one currently working in Tokyo). These visits will take place over a period of time and cover a cross section of the menu, including perhaps lunch and dinner, so as to reassure ourselves of a certain required level of consistency.

Consistency remains the watchword of the Guide and is so important to our readers.

There will always be one announced visit during a star awarding process. Essentially though, our job is to go in undetected and make our own decisions on behalf of our readers. As editor I will visit any restaurant proposed for a star, the review process is ongoing during the year but there is a star review meeting held annually.

Naturally the input from our readers is important to us and is taken into account (hidden gems are, for example, often uncovered thanks to some of our loyal readers). However, it must be stressed that the star awarding process is exclusively conducted by a team of professional inspectors.

This year there were no ‘rising stars’ awarded. There is no hard and fast rule about this sub category. Sometimes it is appropriate to share our thoughts on a restaurant that is standing out in its category sometimes not – this feature of the guide is open to returning in future years.

Can you reassure chefs that in these difficult economic times, Michelin is still focused on the entire menu and not just set meals?

If a menu is there, it is there to be tried by customers, therefore it is there to be tried by Michelin. In some ways the set menu is an opportunity for the chef to be creative. If a star award or demotion is a possibility then Michelin will visit as many times as required (in a rigorous manner) to ensure consistency across the menu and to be certain of our decision.

Tell us about Bib Gourmand and what it means to restaurants and readers?

It is the Michelin emblem and dear to Michelin and to our readers. It is awarded for quality food at moderate prices, where the term moderate has been set at £28 for three courses. Michelin have remained with that formula for some years and it works very well.

We know that many of our readers invest in the Michelin Guide specifically for this category and it remains fundamental to the Guide. There are 129 Bib Gourmands this year offering a breadth of style and choice to our readers.

What is your view of the rise of the internet and constant ‘real time’ reviews of restaurants?

Anything that promotes any interest in this industry is to be applauded and as such Michelin welcome the social networking discussions, the blogs and the sites on the web. Like any web reader, the challenge is to sift through a welter of information and separate the good from the bad from the indifferent. In general, the Michelin Guide offers our readers something different – through long established, professional inspectors (that have seen a wealth of places over many years) offering a benchmarked review system, which we endeavor to have a stamp of reassured quality.

What are the plans for the Main Cities of Europe Guide (Expansion)?

In recent years Michelin has expanded in America and Asia. We’re delivering expansion further in Asia this year. In Europe, for example, Budapest now has two Michelin one Star restaurants. In general, the Main Cities of Europe Guide remains vitally important.

The internet is about ‘real time’, paper publications are ‘date in time’ is there any plan to take advantage of the information age?

Yes there are exciting times ahead. While it is appreciated that print media is under pressure from digital media, the annual paper Guide is still a strong selling presence in the market. So while we wish to embrace change and deliver new projects (and there are projects underway), Michelin will consider its heritage very carefully as steps forward are taken…