Michelin Guide 2017: reactions from the winners

Michelin Guide 2017: reactions from the winners

by Great British Chefs 3 October 2016

As the best chefs of the UK and Ireland gathered in London to discover the list of Michelin-starred restaurants for the next twelve months, we were there to find out how they felt. See what the winners had to say and how relieved some were to have retained their stars.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews as well as access to some of Britain’s greatest chefs. Our posts cover everything we are excited about from the latest openings and hottest food trends to brilliant new producers and exclusive chef interviews.

After a morning involving new awards, live streaming, plenty of chef's whites being handed out and lots and lots of clapping, the results for the Michelin Guide 2017 were announced at an event which saw the very best of the industry come together. With The Fat Duck regaining its three stars, one new two-star and seventeen new one-stars, there's plenty of new young talent making their mark on the sacred dining guide. We talked to some of the chefs who succeeded to see how they were handling the news.

Tom Brown, Outlaw’s at The Capital

Tom retained the Michelin star at Nathan Outlaw’s London restaurant after taking over from acclaimed chef Pete Biggs.

‘It’s a massive life change to come up from Cornwall, but I’m lucky because I have Nathan who’s a great mentor and helped me out during the adjustment. I’m so happy about the star and just glad we kept going with what the guys started at The Capital before me. I wasn’t just nervous this morning – I’ve been nervous every morning for the past year! Everyone says to not worry about Michelin but I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing if I wasn’t concerned about it. I was left in great stead, by people like Pete Biggs before me, and now I want to carry that on, keep pushing and keep moving forward.’

Adam Byatt, Trinity

After ten years of opening and running the kitchen at Clapham’s Trinity, Adam’s hard work has finally been rewarded with a Michelin star.

‘After so long it feels so great to get a star, especially after the refurb at the restaurant last year and focusing on being the best we possibly can be. I said to the guys if we don’t get a star this year them I’m all out of ideas, but to have that endorsement from the most trusted food guide in the world after ten years is great. It’s always nice to be told you’re doing the right thing, and it gives you confidence to push forward and I’m just so proud of my team, suppliers and business partners.’

Kevin Tickle, Forest Side

After years at L’Enclume under Simon Rogan, Kevin’s passion for foraging has manifested in Forest Side, a Cumbrian restaurant focusing on local produce. He was awarded a Michelin star less than a year after opening.

‘I’m really shocked to be here. Forest Side has only been open seven months so we’re just so happy. My team have done a grand job this year and I’m so proud of them. As a chef Michelin is always in the back of your mind, but because we’re so new I wouldn’t have been disappointed if we didn’t get one, but to actually get it is amazing and a bit of a shock. I’ve had a good handful of mentors throughout my career which helped, but now it’s about maintaining that standard. When we get that out of the way it’s time to push forward – I’m not one to stay still, so I want to push it as far as I can.’

James Close, Raby Hunt

The one new two-starred restaurant in the Michelin Guide 2017 was Durham’s Raby Hunt, with self-trained chef James Close in the kitchen.

‘It’s unbelievable. We’ve only been open seven years and I’ve never had any formal training as a chef – to be the only new two star for 2017 is amazing. I knew we were on the cuff of two stars as we try to be original and creative, but it was a surprise to actually get one. We’re so much better this year than the last but that’s what happens when you’ve only been open for seven years; the same dish gets refined over and over. For example, we have this raw beef dish which was nowhere near as good last year as it is now. It’s all about refining it and making it the best quality it can day.’

Michael Wignall, Gidleigh Park

Leaving The Latymer and taking over from Michael Caines at Gidleigh Park was a bold move, but Michael has proven his skills by retaining the restaurant’s two stars.

‘It’s an amazing feeling and an amazing achievement. I couldn’t have done it without the team and it’s a compliment to everyone that’s been a part of Gidleigh Park. But thank god it’s all over with! Now we can just carry on improving the food; I’ve been more settled here than anywhere else as it’s such a beautiful place with some stunning countryside surrounding it. I’ve got an amazing team both back and front of house, which is just perfect.’