The virtual revelation event that took place on 25 January turned out to be a record-setting evening, with various chefs and restaurants making history. Chef Clare Smyth of Core in London became the first female chef born in the United Kingdom to be lauded with three Michelin stars for her self-owned restaurant; London restaurant A. Wong led by chef Andre Wong became the first Chinese restaurant to be awarded two Michelin Stars in England and California-inspired restaurant Sola in Soho helmed by Victor Garvey became the first American restaurant outside of the United States to be given a star by the Michelin Guide.
The 2021 Guide features a duo of new three-star restaurants, a trio of new two-star restaurants and seventeen new one-star restaurants, showcasing Michelin’s dedication to supporting the hospitality industry during a very challenging time. Some restaurants also lost stars in this year’s guide, such as Umu which went from two stars to one. The Black Rat; Aquavit; Flitch of Bacon; Social Eating House and Red Lion Freehouse all lost their stars.
Of course, with restaurants being so hard hit as a result of the pandemic, a large number of our favourite foodie spots – including those with Michelin stars – have shut their doors. The Ledbury and The Greenhouse in London, both of which held two Michelin stars, have permanently closed while Restaurant Nathan Outlaw reinvented itself as Outlaw’s New Road, providing a more laid-back dining experience than its two-Michelin-starred predecessor.
An even greater number of one-star restaurants bid farewell last year. including Texture, Roganic, Mews, The Square, Wilks, Thomas Carr @ The Olive Room, Braidwoods and Restaurant James Sommerin. Meanwhile, Josh Eggleton’s The Pony & Trap also relaunched itself as a community food hub.
Clare Smyth chef-owner of Core in Notting Hill and Hélène Darroze of Hélène Darroze at The Connaught became the latest chefs to join the United Kingdom’s culinary elite with their three-star status, alongside the handful of other chefs and restaurants who have reached the pinnacle of their career. These include:
- Jean-Philippe Blondet of Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
- Heston Blumenthal and Jonny Lake of the Fat Duck
- Gordon Ramsay and Matt Abé of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
- Alain Roux of The Waterside Inn
- Pierre Gagnaire of Sketch (The Lecture Room & Library)
Andrew Wong of A Wong, Tom Sellers of Restaurant Story and Rafael Cagali of Da Terra were all awarded with their much-deserved second Michelin stars in the 2021 selection. These chefs now join the likes of Anne-Sophie Pic; Claude Bosi; Simon Rogan; Sat Bains and Niall Keating, among others.
After the new additions to the 2021 Michelin Guide, the United Kingdom and Ireland now boast 158 one-star restaurants. The newly awarded restaurants include:
- Muse led by Tom Aikens
- Osip led by Merlin Labron-Johnson
- Shaun Rankin at Grantley Hall
- Dede led by Ahmet Dede
- The Latymer led by Steve Smith
- Hide and Fox led by Allister Barsby
- Behind led by Andy Beynon
- Roots led by Tommy Banks
- Cail Bruich led by Lorna McNee
- Hjem led by Alex Nietosvuori
- Cornerstone led by Tom Brown
- Davies and Brook led by Daniel Humm
- Outlaw’s New Road led by Nathan Outlaw
- Benares led by Brinder Narula
- Casa Fofò led by Adolfo De Cecco
- Pea Porridge led by Justin Sharp
- Sola led by Victor Garvey
To see the full list of Michelin-starred restaurants in the UK and Ireland for 2021, visit the Michelin Guide’s website articles here.
Images © in order of appearance: Food Story Media Ltd; Hélène Darroze at The Connaught; Pierre Monetta and Ed Schofield