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david goodfellow

Michelin Guide 2012 – UK

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Not many weeks now (6th Oct) to the far earlier than normal January 2012 release date. I am wondering as to what thoughts are to additions and deletions?

There have been some very good openings this year, although some of them will be too late for inclusion, and some others will be perhaps questionable as to their star worthiness.

Anyone gaining a star ? Or jumping from one to two, or even two to three stars?

Love to know your thoughts.

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I'll stick with my earlier prediction of a star for "Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond".

And, once again, hope that this year is the year for L'Enclume's second - perhaps edging closer as it is now No. 2 in the GFG rankings.


John Hartley

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Apparently Michelin don't factor service at single star level, but obviously do at two and three. On my recent trip to L'enclume service, although pleasant, was quite a long way from being correct. However, save for one or two very notable exceptions, I find the same to be true of many regional, starred restaurants outside of London. I think these venues face a genuine issue of hanging on to good staff who can earn far more in the smoke.

I know I have a real bug-bear about this (and may have mentioned it before), but my predictions fall in line with past Guide behaviour, so expect a third for Darroze and Robuchon, a fourth for Ducasse and bugger-all for any one British...

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I wouldn't be surprised to see Marcus Wareing finally get his third, and I'd say Dinner will get two Michelin stars.


James.

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Given the speed "Restaurant Jean-François Piège" made the French guide I wonder it they have upped the cycle time. Could Hedone could make it - that would be very interesting.

Dinner may also be interesting, not been, but the initial buzz seems to have worn off and it appears there are a couple of must have dishes amongst many that are only good. Given the number of new openings at the top end of dining it will be interesting to see who gets what - especially since so few of them are French.

Marcus only four for Ducasse why not five? Assume they will have to give him the extras as there are so few other French chefs opening in London this year to take up the ones reserved for them.

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Apparently Michelin don't factor service at single star level, but obviously do at two and three.

According to the Big Fat Duck Cookbook, the then head of Michelin told Blumenthal that the stars were awarded solely for the food.

I've not been to Dinner either, I was just going from what I've heard.


James.

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Apparently Michelin don't factor service at single star level, but obviously do at two and three.

According to the Big Fat Duck Cookbook, the then head of Michelin told Blumenthal that the stars were awarded solely for the food.

I've not been to Dinner either, I was just going from what I've heard.

I've been told this personally by a senior Michelin Inspector & has been an agenda for a number of years now


The Chef Hermes blog

Can be followed on Twitter: @chefhermes

Or Facebook:Chef Hermes group page

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The flipside of course is that poor service can taint the enjoyment of the overall experience, which can reflect on the food.


James.

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The flipside of course is that poor service can taint the enjoyment of the overall experience, which can reflect on the food.

I totally agree, and maybe this is the subtle point here. In the past service was thought of as "Michelin style service" with all the associated formality and bells and whistles. Similarly the "Michelin room" was perceived to need stiff line, deep pile carpets, quality silverware etc etc.

Is the "it is about he food on the plate" statement designed to change the paradigm that you need to conform to a Michelin model, to more of a "service/ambiance need to support the food" model. So if the experience is designed to be a grand palace the food is judged in context, if it is meant to be pared back, and basic to let the food shine through (3rd for the Sportsman anyone?) it is judged accordingly and no longer marked down because it lacks the Michelin accoutrements.

But that doesn't mean bad service and a dodgy room that gets in the way of the food won't lose marks etc - IMO it is bloody difficult to divorce good food from the environment it is served in. A great musician in a hall with bad acoustics will never deliver a great concert; a great chef delivering great food in a crap restaurant with dodgy service will never deliver a great meal - and hopefully Michelin reflects that.


Edited by PhilD (log)

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Back in the very dim, distant past when I used to work in the trade the service at two star upwards was commonly discussed, but as Hermes points out, the criteria seems to be a constantly shifting sand, which is no bad thing I guess. I clearly remember when the River Cafe got its star around '97 and everyone couldn't believe it because they used paper table cloths over linen. Restaurant owners throughout the capital were shaking their heads wondering why they'd spent so much on laundry all those years!

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I'd expect Dinnr to get 1 star but no more. It is good with a few 2 star dishes but as an overall experience it doesn't make a 2 star experience.

Sat Bains to get an extra star. I predicted this last year and was wrong. I really believe he deserves it and will get it this year.

Andrew

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Certainly Sat deserves his second. Our meal there has been the stand-out in the UK this year


John Hartley

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I think many of us have been predicting a second for Sat for a few years now - I've given up hoping!

Michelin is an oddity. As much as they say it's just all about the food, how many 2/3 stars are there which don't have the usual Michelin trimmings? Can't think of any in the UK off the top of my head, but I can think of several restaurants which will miss out for no apparent reason other than service/environment.

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Apparently Michelin don't factor service at single star level, but obviously do at two and three.

According to the Big Fat Duck Cookbook, the then head of Michelin told Blumenthal that the stars were awarded solely for the food.

I've not been to Dinner either, I was just going from what I've heard.

If you had I doubt you would have come to that prediction.

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Simon Rogan at Lenclume , surely has to get 2 stars this time around.

Seems like Sat bains is along similar lines and worthy of 2 stars.

Marcus Wareing...after my 22 course meal there this weekend is 100% a Michelin 3 star restaurant , best meal in a long long time.

Ducasse....downgrade to 2 stars.


CumbriafoodieCumbriafoodie

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On the Irish side of the coin, I'd really like to see a star for Gregan's Castle. It would be thoroughly deserved for the quality of food on offer, and if Michelin really *are* giving stars for food only, this should be a shoo-in. I have heard talk of a first star for a Dublin restaurant I have yet to eat in, so things might be a little more interesting this year for those of us on this side of the Irish Sea.

Oh, and it's surely time Alexis got its long-deserved bib.

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Speaking to people in the industry at the Food & Wine Magazine Awards last Sunday, it seems Michelin have been out in force all over Ireland for the last six months so I expect there to be a lot of movement after what have been a very static couple of years.

Hop you're right about the Bib this year Simon :)

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Not a suggested up or down but a remain the same, I went Royal Hospital Road for lunch yesterday and was really impressed. I know a fair few knock him and suggest that the flagship is likley to lose a star but on yesterday's evidence I really believe it is worth its 3 star ranking and will keep it.

Andrew

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Not a suggested up or down but a remain the same, I went Royal Hospital Road for lunch yesterday and was really impressed. I know a fair few knock him and suggest that the flagship is likley to lose a star but on yesterday's evidence I really believe it is worth its 3 star ranking and will keep it.

Andrew

Based on my dinner there last year, they'd be hard done by if they lose a star. Granted, the food wasn't cutting edge, but it was flawlessly prepared, and utterly delicious.


James.

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I think a star to Koffmnann's would be a fair recognition not so much of Koffmann's talent, as he obviously doesn't need it, but of the tremendous work of his team.

Currently, for that faux-rustic type of cuisine, I can hardly think of better places where to go in London - for example I like Bruno Loubet but it's no match.

Incidentally, yesterday lunch at Koffmann's I had what may well remain the best grouse for the rest of the season (I had tried a couple already here in Scotland). If you have the chance go and try it!

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Based on my dinner there last year, they'd be hard done by if they lose a star. Granted, the food wasn't cutting edge, but it was flawlessly prepared, and utterly delicious.

My experience as well. Perfectly executed and presented top quality ingredients.

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I think a star to Koffmnann's would be a fair recognition not so much of Koffmann's talent, as he obviously doesn't need it, but of the tremendous work of his team.

Currently, for that faux-rustic type of cuisine, I can hardly think of better places where to go in London - for example I like Bruno Loubet but it's no match.

Incidentally, yesterday lunch at Koffmann's I had what may well remain the best grouse for the rest of the season (I had tried a couple already here in Scotland). If you have the chance go and try it!

Speaking of grouse, had an amazing dish at the freemasons

Inn at wiswell on Saturday night. Served with beetroot, croissant velouyr

And blackberries. Astounding. Excellent lamb dish. Even little ones "fish fingers" were

Excellent.

This place i predict will move from bib to star as they

Are definitely working and producing at another level.

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I'd heard that the 2012 guide was coming out earlier than usual...anyone any info on proposed date?

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Certainly Sat deserves his second. Our meal there has been the stand-out in the UK this year

I'm sure another star will do no harm to the forthcoming book sales ...

"Too many cowboys, only one Indian" (really!) due May 2012 http://www.amazon.co.uk/Too-many-cowboys-only-Indian/dp/095589302X/

{The book} "also offers the reader the exclusive benefit of being able to order dishes at Restaurant Sat Bains from the pages of the book, in addition to those on the current menu. "

Novel?


"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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