AA Rosette Award Criteria Explained

Posted on: December 31st, 2011 by Simon Carter & Daniel Darwood

For the latest information visit The AA own website, here https://www.theaa.com/restaurants/rosettes/how-the-aa-awards-rosettes

The following was found in 2012 through surfing the resources of the AA Website.  The official AA pdf document at that time is also attached.  Note/ To be sure this is up to date please click through to the link above for The AA’s own website and explore for yourself.  Generally speaking the below remains an excellent reference point for those interested in AA Rosette recognitions.

“Consumer Guidelines for AA Rosette Awards

The Rosette scheme has long been established and successfully recognizes cooking at different levels nationwide. The success or failure in achieving Rosettes is based on a single (sometimes multiple) visit/s to a hotel or restaurant. Essentially it’s a snapshot, whereby the entire meal including ancillary items (when served) are assessed.

Of all the restaurants across the UK, approximately 10% are of a standard which is worthy of 1 Rosette and above. This is indeed a huge achievement and something not to be underestimated.

We are often asked:

What is the difference between 1 and 5 Rosettes and how can I get to the next level?”

Our (The AA) answer is:

It’s how well a chef manages to apply advanced technique whilst retaining maximum flavour, assuming an appropriate quality of source ingredients”

Whilst we endeavour to work with the industry and promote great cooking across the UK, it’s of paramount importance to always serve your market first. We would also recommend you don’t chase awards, see them as something to celebrate when they come along.

Where however, the winning of Rosettes is an aspiration, the simple guidelines below are provided for your information. AA food tastings, enhanced food tasting or signing up to one of the AA Rosette Academies can also give further insight and guidance, but are separate from the awards process and do not influence any assessments.

AA Rosettes are awarded solely by AA Hotel and Restaurant Inspectors. External influences from hotels, restaurants or other guides are not taken into account when awarding Rosettes.

The best restaurants serving food prepared with care, understanding and skill, using good quality ingredients. These restaurants will be achieving standards that standout in their local area. The same expectations apply to hotel restaurants where guests should be able to eat in with confidence and a sense of anticipation. Around 50% of restaurants/hotels within our AA Restaurant Guide will have One Rosette.

Excellent restaurants, which aim for and achieve higher standards, better consistency and where a greater precision is apparent in the cooking. There will be obvious attention to the selection of quality ingredients. Around 40% of restaurants/hotels within our AA Restaurant Guide will have Two Rosettes.

Outstanding restaurants that achieve standards that demand national recognition well beyond their local area. The cooking will be underpinned by the selection and sympathetic treatment of the highest quality ingredients. Timing, seasoning and the judgment of flavour combinations will be consistently excellent. These virtues will tend to be supported by other elements such as intuitive service and a well-chosen wine list. Around 10% of the hotels/restaurants within the AA Restaurant Guide will have Three Rosettes and above.

Amongst the Top restaurants in the UK where the cooking demands national recognition. These restaurants will exhibit intense ambition, a passion for excellence, superb technical skills and remarkable consistency. They will combine appreciation of culinary traditions with a passionate desire for further exploration and improvement. There are very few restaurants with Four AA Rosettes.

The pinnacle! Where the cooking compares with the best in the world. These restaurants will have highly individual voices, exhibit breathtaking culinary skills and set the standards to which others aspire to, yet few achieve.

Announcements of awards

1 and 2 Rosettes are awarded at the time of inspection.

3 and 4 Rosettes awards are announced twice during the year, but never at the time of inspection.

5 Rosettes are awarded just the once during a year and never at the time of inspection.

Suspension of Multi-Rosettes (3, 4, 5 Rosettes)

When a chef holds 3, 4 or 5 Rosettes and moves from one establishment to another, the award is suspended at the hotel/restaurant he/she has just left. The award does not follow the chef automatically either.

We therefore recommend that when a change of chef occurs, establishments let us know as soon as possible in order for us to schedule forthcoming inspections.

Multiple restaurants within one establishment

In the case of an AA rated Hotel or Guest Accommodation with a Rosette award having more than one restaurant and wishing to have the food at the 2nd restaurant tested for a Rosette award this restaurant must have:

• A different head chef from the other restaurant

• Separate kitchen

• Different food style

All other Rosette criteria apply.

Menus, chefs CV and wine list should be submitted for consideration to AA Hotel Services, Fanum House, Basing View, Basingstoke, Hants RG21 4EA. It is entirely at the AA’s discretion whether a visit is completed and a Rosette award given.”

Click on the link to download the AA official resources document. AA-rosette-consumer-202012.