Each year its publication sends waves of fear and exaltation through the culinary community. The Michelin Guide 2012, the gourmand’s bible of good food and good taste, is out and the results are in.
Loosen your belts and get your knives and forks at the ready because this year has seen a myriad of new establishments being awarded the food world‘s most prestigious accolade: a new Michelin star.
At the top of the table chef royalty Heston Blumenthal (Fat Duck, Bray), Alain Roux and Fabrice Uhryn (Waterside Inn, Bray), Clare Smyth (Gordon Ramsay, Chelsea) and Jocelyn Herland (Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester) reigned supreme and all retained their coveted three Michelin stars.
Leading the rest of the pack this year was Tom Kerridge with his pub the Hand & Flowers in Marlow, Buckinghamshire. The 2012 Guide was the first to award a pub a two Michelin star rating.
Restaurant Sat Bains of Nottingham had its rating raised to two stars while the following establishments joined the Michelin constellation and gained their first one:
North Road, Clerkenwell, Islington (London)
Hakkasan Mayfair, Mayfair, Westminster (London)
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park), Hyde Park & Knightsbridge (London)
Pollen Street Social, Mayfair, Westminster (London)
Cowoth Park, Ascot, Surrey
Sir Charles Napier, Chinnor, Buckinghamshire
Butchers Arms, Eldersfield, Worcestershire
The Pass, Horsham, West Sussex
Tassilli (at Grand Hotel), Jersey, The Channel Islands
Glenapp Castle, Ballantrae, West Ayrshire
Driftwood, Portscatho, Cornwall
Black Swan, Oldstead, North Yorkshire
Martin Wishart at Loch Lomand, Balloch, West Dunbartonshire Castle Terrace, Edinburgh The Checkers, Montgomery, Monmouthshire
Elsewhere, The Samling of Ambleside failed to retain the single star it won in 2010 and London’s Pied a Terre lost one of their two stars. Wales and Scotland also suffered casualties in this year’s guide as Ynyshir Hall in Powys, Plumed Horse, Edinburgh and Champany Inn, West Lothian all lost their singles stars.
The biggest surprise, however, came in the form of bright, young British chef Will Holland, a former Acorn winner, who lost his single star for Le Becasse in Ludlow, Shropshire.