If Carlsberg Did Fashion
Cover of the first Michelin guide issued in 1900
The Michelin Guide is a series of annual guide/reference books published by the French company Michelin for more than one hundred years. The term normally refers to the Michelin Red Guide, the oldest and best-known European hotel and restaurant reference guide, which awards Michelin stars for excellence to a select few establishments. The acquisition or loss of a star can have dramatic effects on the success of a restaurant. Michelin also publishes a series of general guides to countries. This is the same company that also make tyres.
The Madness of Perfection
In this video, Marcus Warein mentions that Michelin should take more stars away, and coincidentally that’s exactly what happened soon after to Gordon Ramsey.
The term “Michelin Star” is a hallmark of fine dining quality and restaurants around the world tout their Michelin Star status. Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay shed some tears when the Michelin Guide stripped the stars from his New York restaurant, calling the food “erratic.” Ramsay explained that losing the stars was like “losing a girlfriend.”
Michelin has a long history of reviewing restaurants. In 1900 the Michelin tyre company launched its first guidebook to encourage road tripping in France. In 1926, it started sending out anonymous restaurant reviewers to review restaurants. To this day, Michelin relies entirely on its full-time staff of anonymous restaurant reviewers. The anonymous reviewers are passionate about food, have a good eye for detail, and have a great taste memory to recall and compare types of foods.
A reviewer has said that they must be a “chameleon” who can blend in with all of their surroundings, to appear as if they are an ordinary consumer. Each time a reviewer goes to a restaurant, they write a thorough memorandum about their experience and then all of the reviewers come together to discuss and decide on which restaurants will be awarded the stars.
In this way, the Michelin stars are very different than Zagat and Yelp, which rely on consumer feedback via the Internet. Zagat tallies restaurants anonymously based on surveyed reviews of diners and consumers while Yelp tallies stars based on user reviews provided online subjecting the company to a number of lawsuits associated with its filtering system. Michelin does not use any consumer reviews in making its restaurant determinations.
Many have criticized the guides as being biased towards French cuisine, style, and technique, or towards a snobby, formal dining style, rather than a casual atmosphere. A tell-all book from a Michelin inspector in 2004 complained that the guides are understaffed, out of date, and pander to big name chefs.
The stars are awarded as follows:
• One star: A good place to stop on your journey, indicating a very good restaurant in its category, offering cuisine prepared to a consistently high standard.
• Two stars: A restaurant worth a detour, indicating excellent cuisine and skillfully and carefully crafted dishes of outstanding quality.
• Three stars: A restaurant worth a special journey, indicating exceptional cuisine where diners eat extremely well, often superbly. Distinctive dishes are precisely executed, using superlative ingredients.
Stars are awarded to restaurants offering the finest cooking, regardless of cuisine style. People from Michelin say they reflect only what is on the plate, without taking into consideration interior decoration, service quality or table settings. A canteen in Hong Kong called Tim Ho Wan (which means “Add Good Luck”) offers dishes for a little more than a dollar and in 2009 became the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant.
Establishments are assessed by anonymous inspectors. They look at five criteria; quality of the product, mastery of flavour and cooking, the personality of the cuisine, value for money and consistency between visits. In exceptional cases, a review is accompanied with a star.
Globally, a Michelin ranking is rare, relatively speaking considering the number of cooking establishments worldwide. In 2010 were just 26 3-star restaurants in France, and only 81 in the world.
The average number of seats in a Michelin starred restaurant is 64 covers.
When André Michelin published his guide to advertise his company’s products for the Paris World Fair in 1900 his intention was to raise customer loyalty. In those times cars could break down for any little thing and so his guide contained entries of gas stations, garages and information on fuel prices.
His guide also intended to help drivers find decent places to stay overnight and in 1923 decent eating establishments were listed with the first star introduced in 1926. The second and third stars were added in the 1930’s. The guide was given free until 1920, its cover was originally blue but since 1931 has been red and is today known as ‘the red guide.’
The first ever Michelin Guide to the British Isles was published in 1911. In 1974, when the guide was relaunched in its modern guise, 25 restaurants managed one star. In 1977, four restaurants were awarded two stars for the first time (the Connaught, Le Gavroche, the Waterside Inn and the Box Tree). In 1982, Britain could finally boast a three-star restaurant thanks to Albert Roux at Le Gavroche.
Not everyone agrees with the Michelin grading system. Some people in the industry suggest it is biased and favours celebrity chefs because of their status. In other words which Michelin inspector is goingf to put his neck out and discuss taking away Michel Roux’s stars because he may not have anjoyed his lunch and the ambience there.
Marco Pierre White was the youngest chef and the first Briton to gain three Michelin stars aged 33, which he then renounced in 1999.
He told the Sunday Mercury: “I don’t like Michelin-starred restaurants. I find a lot of the modern Michelin-starred restaurants are trying too hard.
“The future of dining out is casual dining. Michelin-star restaurants are not what people want – little knick-knacks of food served 12 times.
“The world has changed. Let’s be real.”
The only exception to the rule, he said, is Le Gavroche, the London restaurant where White was trained by Michel and Albert Roux.
Culinary Stared chef family in the UK
Michel Roux Senior
Confusingly there are two great chefs called Michel Roux. The older one is the uncle of the younger one.
Michel Roux senior was born in 1941 in Charolles in the eastern part of France. His father (also called Michel) set up a charcuterie in Paris, went bankrupt and disappeared. Michel started training as a pastry chef at the age of 14 in Belleville near Montmatre in Paris. His brother Albert, who was also a pastry chef, was working in the British embassy in Paris and was able to find his brother a job. It wasn’t long before Michel Roux senior was working for Philippe de Rothschild and, after national service in France, he moved to England where his brother Albert had started working. In 1967 the two brothers opened Le Gavroche in London.In 1972, they opened the Waterside Inn in Bray.
Michel Roux was one of the few top quality French chefs working in England at a time when there was a demand for fine dining, and when English cuisine was pretty dreadful! And in 1974, when Michelin first started giving stars to English restaurants, both of Michel Roux’s restaurants establishments got a star. Then in 1977 they were among the first British restaurants to get two Michelin stars.
In 1986 the business split, with Michel taking over the Waterside Inn and his brother Albert running Le Gavroche. The Waterside Inn has had three Michelin stars since 1985.
The Roux Family: Michel Roux Jr. and father Albert, Michel Roux Sr. and son Alain Roux.
Michel Roux Senior is semi-retired and is married to his second wife, an Australian woman he met in 1983. His son Alain runs the Waterside Inn. Michel Roux Senior currently spends much of his time in Switzerland and the South of France.
He has tended to avoid television appearances, although he does do occasional appearances on Saturday Kitchen and other shows. He is widely regarded as being one of the most influential chefs in Britain.
Le Gavroche was the first UK restaurant to be awarded one, two and three Michelin stars. The chef de cuisine is Michel Roux Jr, who took over the reins from his father, Albert in 1991.
Finding a restaurant near you
Michelin inspectors review restaurants from around the world and publish them in regional guides each year. For detailed write-ups you can purchase the book in store, or download the app to your smartphone from the iTunes store and review on the go.
The Michelin website also lets you browse Michelin-starred restaurants, along with other eateries that have not earned a star but are still commended by inspectors.
Michelin Star Chefs (2014)
A select few of Britains star chefs, many known to a wider public due to appearances on culinary TV programmes. Chefs are recorded here when they have obtained Michelin star level, if they subsequently lose that status, the record here stays for posterity.
Michel Roux Jr.
Classical French Cuisine
Currently runs Le Gavroche, Roux at Parliament Square and Roux at The Landau.
43 Upper Brook Street, London W1K 7QR
Classical French Cuisine
The Waterside Inn. Bray. Restaurant of a Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux and hotel on a river. The first restaurant outside of France to hold three stars for over 25 years.
Ferry Rd, Bray, Berkshire SL6 2AT
Modern French Cuisine
Marcus (formerly Marcus Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley) reopened in March 2014 following a stunning refurbishment, bringing a relaxed formality to the dining experience in a new, elegant and contemporary setting. Marcus began his career at 18 working at The Savoy and was awarded his first Michelin star at 25.
The Berkeley Hotel, Wilton Place, Westminster, SW1X 7RL
Gordon’s signature restaurant, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, in Chelsea, was established in 1998 and has held three Michelin stars since 2001. But Ramsay, who owns 12 restaurants around the capital, can at least console himself with the fact his other restaurants worldwide currently hold a total of 14 Michelin stars.
TV: Hell’s kitchen, Ramsey’s kitchen nightmares (UK & US), Ramsey behind bars, Gordon Ramsay’s F word, Gordon Ramsay’s boiling point
Modern French Cuisine
Contemporary French cuisine, complemented with a highly professional, bespoke and friendly service.
53 Park Lane, Mayfair, W1K 1QA
Chef Claude Bosi moved his award-winning Hibiscus restaurant from Ludlow, Shropshire; to central London in October 2007.
29 Maddox Street, W1S 2PA
TV: Burger Bar to Gourmet Star
Situated in the heart of Mayfair, Benares serves modern Indian cuisine with a contemporary British twist.
12A Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, W1J 6BS
The first London venture of the award-winning and critically acclaimed former 2-Michelin-starred Chef, Eric Chavot since his return to the UK.
41 Conduit Street, W1S 2YF
Located in the Connaught, one of London’s most legendary hotels, Helene Darroze’s elegant and stylish restaurant has a coveted Michelin star.
Carlos Place, Mayfair, W1K 2AL
Since joining Pied à Terre in May 2011, Marcus Eaves gained a Michelin star in the 2012 guide after just five months at the helm. This is now Marcus’s fourth year in the guide with a star and his first at Pied à Terre.
34 Charlotte street, W1T 2NH
Classic and Modern European
Michael continues to develop his cuisine using the very finest local produce and his exceptional culinary skills to great appreciation.
Chagford, Devon, TQ13 8HH
Food at Whatley Manor bursts with flavour and originality with a choice of two dining experiences. Both restaurants are overseen by Michelin two-starred chef Martin Burge.
Easton Grey, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, SN16 0RB
The Ledbury opened in 2005, with Brett as Head Chef, supported by a young team including Sous Chef Greg Austin, Restaurant Manager, Darren McHugh and Head Sommelier, Anja Breit.
127 Ledbury Road, Notting Hill, London W11 2AQ
The Kitchin, quickly established itself as one of the finest places to eat in the country. The Kitchin presents modern British cuisine influenced by French cooking techniques.
Leith – Edinburg
An exclusive dining experience. The restaurant holds two Michelin stars, earned through Andrew’s exciting and inspiring culinary style.
Auchterader – Scotland
The hand & Flowers is the only pub to be awarded two Michelin stars. Currently voted number one UK restaurant by Restaurant Magazine.
126 West Street, Marlow SL7 2BP
TV: Tom Kerridge’s proper pub food, TOm Kerridge’s best ever dishes
He and his wife Jenny opened their first restaurant, Les Quat’Saisons, in Oxford in 1977. An overnight success, it won Egon Ronay Restaurant of the Year.
Church Road, Great Milton, Oxford, OX44 7PD
TV: Raymond Blanc’s kitchen secrets, food & drink, Blanc mange, Friends for dinner, The restaurant, How to cook well.
Karam trained in India as well as at Zuma in London and in Marbella. His specialities include Dorset Brown Crab, and Hariyali Sea Bream, cooked in the tandoor. Trishna specialises in south- west Indian seafood.
15 -17 Blandford Street, Marylebone Village, London W1U 3DG
Simon Radley at The Chester Grosvenor offers contemporary dining in an atmosphere of chic sophistication.
Eastgate, Chester, CH1 1LT
We source seasonal ingredients and serve them in a simple modern style with a Cornish and British influence.
We source seasonal ingredients and serve them in a simple modern style with a Cornish and British influence.
43 Elystan St, London, SW3 3NT
The restaurant founded by Rose Gray, achieved their first star in 1998. Ruth Rogers is also married to the famous architect Richard Rogers.
Rainville Rd London W6 9HA
Describing his cooking as ‘complex, carefully crafted and very technical but not intimidating’ Michael’s style has familiar classical themes with all flavours staying true to themselves.
London Road, Bagshot, Surrey, GU19 5EU
Jonny Lake started out delivering meals-on-wheels in Canada and joined the Fat Duck as chef de partie in 2005, and became head chef in 2009 at this Heston Blumenthal owned restaurant.
High Street, Bray, Berkshire, SL6 2AQ
David Everitt Matthias
Modern French Cuisine
David Everitt Matthias and wife Helen founded the restaurant in 1987; their first Michelin star coming in 1995. They are big believers in sourcing the finest local ingredients, and the menu changes seasonally.
24-26 Suffolk Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2AQ
Nathan Outlaw is a Cornwall chef who runs four prestigious restaurants, two with Michelin star accolades. Outlaw’s at The Capital Hotel, London has one star. The Mariner’s Rock Public House in Rock has two stars.
The Mariners, Rock, Cornwall, PL27 6LD
TV: Masterchef, Great British menu, Saturday kitchen.
Satwant Bains won a Roux Scholarship in 1999 enabling him to work in France at three Michelin starred Le Jardin des Sens, before returning to the UK.
Lenton Lane, Nottingham NG7 2SA
A French classically trained chef bringing modern techniques to his dishes.
Modern Italian Cuisine
Angela’s passion for food was instilled in her from a young age by her mother.
20 Queen Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 5PP
TV: Celebrity Masterchef<>
Michelin Star Guide (establishments)
* denotes new winners
3 Michelin Stars
*No new 3 stars
Fat Duck – Bray
Waterside Inn – Bray
Gordon Ramsay – Chelsea
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester – Mayfair
2 Michelin Stars
*No new 2 stars
Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley – Belgravia (Marcus Wareing)
Hélène Darroze at The Connaught – Mayfair (Hélène Darroze)
Square – Mayfair (Phil Howard
The Ledbury – North Kensington
Le Gavroche – Mayfair Hibiscus – Mayfair
Sketch (The Lecture Room & Library) – Mayfair
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Hotel) – Westminster
The Greenhouse – Mayfair
L’Enclume – Grange-over-Sands/Cartmel (Simon Rogan)
Hand and Flowers – Marlow
Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons – Oxford/Great Milton
Michael Wignall at The Latymer (at Pennyhill Park Hotel) – Surrey (Michael Wignall)
Le Champignon Sauvage – Cheltenham (David Everitt-Matthias)
Restaurant Nathan Outlaw – Cornwall (Nathan Outlaw)
Whatley Manor (The Dining Room) – Wiltshire
Gidleigh Park – Chagford/Devon
Midsummer House – Cambridge (Daniel Clifford)
Restaurant Sat Bains – Nottingham
Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles – Auchterarder
Patrick Guilbaud – Dublin
1 Michelin Stars
Pied à Terre – Bloomsbury (Marcus Eaves)
Club Gascon – City of London (Pascal Aussignac)
Rasoi – Chelsea (Vineet Bhatia)
Galvin La Chapelle – Spitalfields (The Galvin brothers)
Galvin at Windows (at London Hilton Hotel) – Mayfair (Chris Galvin)
Tamarind – Mayfair (Alfred Prasad)
Texture – Regent’s Park & Marylebone (Agnar Sverrisson)
Seven Park Place (at St James’s Hotel and Club) – St James’s/Westminster (William Drabble)
Alyn Williams at The Westbury – Mayfair (Alyn Williams)
Hakkasan Hanway Place – Bloomsbury
Harwood Arms – Fulham
River Café – Hammersmith
La Trompette – Chiswick
St John – Clerkenwell Kitchen W8 – Kensington
The Glasshouse – Kew
Chez Bruce – Wandsworth
Amaya Belgravia – Westminster
Pétrus – Belgravia
Benares – Mayfair
Hakkasan Mayfair – Mayfair
Kai – Mayfair
Maze – Mayfair
Murano – Mayfair
Pollen Street Social – Mayfair
Umu – Mayfair
Wild Honey – Mayfair
L’Autre Pied – Regent’s Park & Marylebone
Locanda Locatelli – Regent’s Park & Marylebone
Arbutus – Soho
Yauatcha – Soho
Quilon – Victoria
Hedone – Chiswick
Dabbous – Regent’s Park & Marylebone
St Johns Hotel – Leicester Square
Launceston Place – Kensington
Trishna – Marylebone
HKK – Shoreditch
Angler – Finsbury (Tony Fleming)
Story – London Bridge
Ametsa – Belgravia
Brasserie Chavot – Mayfair (Eric Chavot)
Lima – Regent’s Park/Marylebone (Robert Ortiz)
Social Eating House – Soho
Outlaw’s at The Capital – Knightsbridge (Nathan Outlaw, Pete Biggs)
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon – Strand and Covent Garden
*Fera at Claridges – Mayfair (Simon Rogan) (New Winner)
*Gymkhana – Mayfair (New Winner)
*Clove Club – Shoreditch (New Winner)
*Barrafina – Soho (New Winner)
*City Social – City of London (New Winner)
*Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs – Bloomsbury (New Winner)
Fraiche – Birkenhead (Marc Wilkinson)
Northcote – Blackburn/Langho (Lisa Allen, Nigel Haworth)
Simon Radley at The Chester Grosvenor – Chester
Samling – Cumbria
The Terrace (at Montagu Arms Hotel) – Beaulieu (Matthew Tomkinson)
West House – Biddenden, Kent (Graham Garrett)
Ockenden Manor – Cuckfield/West Sussex (Stephen Crane)
The Pass – Horsham/West Sussex (Matt Gillan)
L’Ortolan – Reading/Shinfield (Alan Murchison)
Drake’s – Ripley/Surrey (Steve Drake)
The Black Rat – Winchester/Hampshire (Ollie Moore)
Curlew – Bodiam/East Sussex
The Royal Oak – Maidenhead
Sir Charles Napier – Chinnor/Buckinghamshire
Apicius – Cranbrook/Kent
The Stagg Inn – Herefordshire
Nut Tree – Murcott/Oxfordshire
JSW – Petersfield/Hampshire
The Sportsman – Whitstable/Kent
Thackerays Restaurant – Kent
Tristan – Horsham
Hind’s Head – Bray
Lords of the Manor – Gloucestershire (Matt Weedon)
Pony & Trap – Chew Magna/Bath (Josh Eggleton)
Driftwood – Portscatho/Cornwall (Chris Eden)
Masons Arms – South Molton/Knowstone/Devon (Mark Dodson)
Room in the Elephant – Torquay (Simon Hulstone)
Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 – Padstow/Cornwall (Paul Ainsworth)
The Park (at Lucknam Park Hotel) – Bath/Colerne
Casamia – Bristol
Manor House H. and Golf Club – Wiltshire
Harrow at Little Bedwyn – Marlborough/Wiltshire
The Red Lion Free House – Wiltshire
Bath Priory – Bath
Wilks – Bristol
*Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen – Port Isaac/Cornwall (New Winner)
*Treby Arms – Devon (New Winner)
Sienna – Dorchester/Dorset
5 North St – Winchcombe/Gloucs
Morston Hall – Morston/Norfolk (Galton Blackiston)
The Neptune – Hunstanton/Norfolk (Kevin Mangeolles)
Paris House – Woburn/Bedfordshire (Phil Fanning)
Alimentum – Cambridge (Mark Poynton) Raby Hunt – nr Darlington
Fischer’s at Baslow Hall – Baslow, Derbyshire
Hambleton Hall – Rutland
Simpsons – Birmingham (Luke Tipping)
Turners – Birmingham (Richard Turner)
Purnell’s – Birmingham
Butchers Arms – Eldersfield/Worcestershire
Mr Underhill’s at Dinham Weir – Ludlow/Shropshire
adam’s – Birmingham (Adam Stokes)
*The Cross at Kenilworth – Kenilworth (New Winner)
Pipe and Glass Inn – Beverley/Yorks (James Mackenzie)
Box Tree – Ilkley/West Yorkshire (Lawrence Yates, Simon Gueller)
Yorke Arms – Ramsgill-in-Nidderdale/North Yorks (Frances Atkins)
Black Swan – Oldstead/North Yorks
Old Vicarage – Sheffield
*Star Inn – Harome, North Yorkshire (New Winner)
Ocean at the Atlantic – Jersey (Mark Jordan)
Bohemia (at Club Hotel and Spa) – Jersey (Steve Smith)
Ormer by Shaun Rankin – Jersey (Shaun Rankin)
Tassili (at Grand Hotel) – Jersey (Richard Allen)
Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond – Balloch/West Dunbartonshire (Martin Wishart)
Martin Wishart Edinburgh/Leith – Edinburgh (Martin Wishart)
Peat Inn – Fife (Geoffrey Smeddle)
Kinloch Lodge – Isle of Skye (Marcello Tully)
Sangster’s – Elie/Fife
Albannach – Lochinver/Highlands
Boath House – Nairn/ Highlands
Glenapp Castle – Ballantrae/South Ayrshire
Braidwoods – Dalry/North Ayrshire
Castle Terrace – Edinburgh
Number One (at Balmoral Hotel) – Edinburgh
Kitchin Edinbugh/Leith – Edinburgh
Knockinaam Lodge – Portpatrick/Dumfries & Galloway
*Isle of Eriska – Scotland (New Winner)
*Three Chimneys and The House Over-By – Isle of Skye (New Winner)
Walnut Tree – Abergavenny/Llanddewi Skirrid/Monmouthshire (Shaun Hill)
Tyddyn Llan – Llandrillo Denbighshire (Bryan Webb)
The Checkers – Montgomery/Monmouthshire
*Crown at Whitebrook – Wales (New Winner)
House (at Cliff House Hotel) – Waterford
Chapter One – Dublin
L’Ecrivain – Dublin
Thornton’s (at The Fitzwilliam Hotel) – Dublin
Bon Appétit – Malahide/Dublin