If Carlsberg Did Fashion

Michelin stars

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

Albert Roux

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.

Le Gavroche

43 Upper Brook Street, London W1K 7QR

TV: Masterchef

Alain Roux

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.

The Waterside Inn

Ferry Rd, Bray, Berkshire SL6 2AT

Marcus Wareing

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.

Marcus Website

The Berkeley Hotel, Wilton Place, Westminster, SW1X 7RL

TV: Masterchef

Gordon Ramsey

French Cuisine

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.

Gordon Ramsey Website

TV: Hell’s kitchen, Ramsey’s kitchen nightmares (UK & US), Ramsey behind bars, Gordon Ramsay’s F word, Gordon Ramsay’s boiling point

Alain Ducasse

Modern French Cuisine

Contemporary French cuisine, complemented with a highly professional, bespoke and friendly service.

Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester

53 Park Lane, Mayfair, W1K 1QA

Claude Bosi

French Cuisine

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

Atul Kochhar

Indian Cuisine

Situated in the heart of Mayfair, Benares serves modern Indian cuisine with a contemporary British twist.

Benares Restaurant and Bar

12A Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, W1J 6BS

TV: Masterchef

Eric Chavot

French Cuisine

The first London venture of the award-winning and critically acclaimed former 2-Michelin-starred Chef, Eric Chavot since his return to the UK.

Brasserie Chavot

41 Conduit Street, W1S 2YF

Helene Darroze

French Cuisine

Located in the Connaught, one of London’s most legendary hotels, Helene Darroze’s elegant and stylish restaurant has a coveted Michelin star.

Hélène Darroze at the Connaught

Carlos Place, Mayfair, W1K 2AL

Marcus Eaves

French Cuisine

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.

Pied à Terre

34 Charlotte street, W1T 2NH

Michael Caines

Classic and Modern European

Michael continues to develop his cuisine using the very finest local produce and his exceptional culinary skills to great appreciation.

Gidleigh Park

Chagford, Devon, TQ13 8HH

TV: Masterchef

Martin Burge

Classical Cuisine

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.

Whatley Manor

Easton Grey, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, SN16 0RB

Brett Graham

Contemporary European

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.

The Ledbury

127 Ledbury Road, Notting Hill, London W11 2AQ

Tom Kitchin

Modern European

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.

The Kitchin

Leith – Edinburg

TV: Masterchef

Andrew Fairlie

Modern European

An exclusive dining experience. The restaurant holds two Michelin stars, earned through Andrew’s exciting and inspiring culinary style.


Auchterader – Scotland

TV: Masterchef

Tom Kerridge

Modern European

The hand & Flowers is the only pub to be awarded two Michelin stars. Currently voted number one UK restaurant by Restaurant Magazine.

Hand & Flowers Public House

126 West Street, Marlow SL7 2BP

TV: Tom Kerridge’s proper pub food, TOm Kerridge’s best ever dishes

Raymond Blanc

French Cuisine

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.

Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

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 Sethi

Indian Cuisine

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

Modern European

Simon Radley at The Chester Grosvenor offers contemporary dining in an atmosphere of chic sophistication.

The Chester Grosvenor

Eastgate, Chester, CH1 1LT

Paul Ainsworth

Modern European

We source seasonal ingredients and serve them in a simple modern style with a Cornish and British influence.

Number 6

Padstow, Cornwall

Tom Aikens

Modern European

We source seasonal ingredients and serve them in a simple modern style with a Cornish and British influence.

Number 6 – in Chelsea

43 Elystan St, London, SW3 3NT

Ruth Rogers

Modern Italian

The restaurant founded by Rose Gray, achieved their first star in 1998. Ruth Rogers is also married to the famous architect Richard Rogers.

The River Cafe

Rainville Rd London W6 9HA

Michael Wignall

Classical European

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.

The Latymer

London Road, Bagshot, Surrey, GU19 5EU

Jonny Lake

Modern Cuisine

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.

The Fat Duck

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.

Le Champignon Sauvage

24-26 Suffolk Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2AQ

Nathan Outlaw

Modern British

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 Mariner’s Rock

The Mariners, Rock, Cornwall, PL27 6LD

TV: Masterchef, Great British menu, Saturday kitchen.

Sat Bains

Modern British

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.

Sat Bains with Rooms

Lenton Lane, Nottingham NG7 2SA

TV: Masterchef

Arnaud Bigno

French Cuisine

A French classically trained chef bringing modern techniques to his dishes.

The Greenhouse

Mayfair, London

Angela Hartnett

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)
Results 2015

* 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