1 Michelin Star Chefs: Kenny Atkinson, Chef Owner, Solstice

The Staff Canteen

Kenny Atkinson is the chef Owner of one Michelin star restaurant Solstice in Newcastle.

Kenny Atkinson's first experience working with food was working on a fruit and veg stall in the Granger Market.


Solstice by Kenny Atkinson

5-7 Side
Newcastle upon Tyne


Tel: 0191 2221722
Email: [email protected]

Facebook: Solstice

Twitter: @Solstice_ncl

Instagram: @houseoftides


Kenny Atkinson, an accomplished British chef, has made a significant impact in the culinary world.

From modest beginnings in Newcastle upon Tyne, he honed his skills working in various restaurants and even overseas in Crete. Kenny's talent was acknowledged when he attained his first Michelin star at St Martin's on the Isle in the Scilly Isles.

This accomplishment led to another Michelin star at the White Room in Seaham Hall.

His culinary expertise caught the attention of the BBC, and he impressed viewers with his appearances on Great British Menu, triumphing in his heat twice.

Atkinson also established his own highly regarded restaurant, House of Tides, which obtained a Michelin star within a year and achieved a high ranking in the National Restaurant Awards.

Subsequently, he opened Solstice by Kenny Atkinson, earning an additional Michelin star and becoming part of Newcastle upon Tyne's first duo of Michelin-starred restaurants.

Kenny's success can be attributed to his passion, hard work, and exceptional culinary skills. His journey from a dishwasher to a renowned chef serves as an inspiration to aspiring culinary professionals. With his remarkable achievements and contributions to the British culinary scene, Kenny Atkinson has firmly established himself among the industry's elite.

Solstice by Kenny Atkinson

Solstice is the second restaurant from Kenny Atkinson, taking fine dining to the next level beyond its debut establishment, House of Tides.

What the guides say

Michelin Guide

Solstice offers a 15-18 course tasting odyssey that revolves around quality ingredients, seasonality, and sustainable practices.

Located in the heart of Newcastle's historic Quayside, just minutes from the Newcastle Tyne Bridge, the restaurant features a sleek modern dining room, with wall-mounted lamps echoing the restaurant's sun logo, and pressed white tablecloths lending the restaurant a slightly more formal atmosphere. That said, the experience is still relaxed - there's no strict dress code, for example, and the atmosphere is intimate - the restaurant only allows for bookings of four people maximum.

Solstice's modern British menu remains firmly under wraps, presenting each course simply via the primary ingredient. Dishes are precise and complex, but aim to present each primary ingredient in its purest form.

Guests can expect lobster tail is slow roasted in lobster oil, made from the shells and head of the lobster, then poached in brown butter and finished with fresh fennel pollen and a yuzu kosho butter sauce; as well as dishes that center around Northumberland honey, serving honey parfait and tuile with bergamot curd, toasted grain ice cream, and bee pollen.

A wine pairing is also available, and begins after the snack courses, giving you a chance to also try one of Solstice's house mixes.

Cocktails include Hepple Gin, King's Ginger, pear and lemongrass, Vivir Tequila, fennel, Poire William, and vermouth, and Suntory Toki with plum sake Bramley apple and Sacred Amber vermouth.

The drinks menu also includes beers, spirits, non-alcoholic drinks, and an extensive wine list with bottles from all over the globe.

Great British Menu

In 2009, Kenny took part in BBC2’S The Great British Menu.

As a longstanding fan of the show, he jumped at the chance to appear on it. He returned the following year and won the North East heat, making it through the National finals to the banquet with his fish course, consisting of  potted mackerel and gooseberries.

Following his appearance on the programme, Kenny received more public attention for his craftsmanship and was offered a position as food director for the three restaurants at Rockcliffe Hall in County Durham. He took the offer, but left the position in 2013.

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 7th June 2023

1 Michelin Star Chefs: Kenny Atkinson, Chef Owner, Solstice