'We're in a game where we don't know the rules': Pied à Terre's fight to get its second star back

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor

Will Pied à Terre ever get its second Michelin star back?

Pied-A-Terre was awarded a Michelin star under Richard Neat in 1992, a year after it launched. It received a second in 1996 and retained it until 2012, when it went back down to a single star. 

The restaurant's most recent head chef, Asimakis Chaniotis,  was just 27 when was granted the position in 2017 after six years working there.

As the 2020 Guide draws closer, there are whispers among the industry that the restaurant may be on its way back to the much-coveted two-star accolade. 

Co-founder David Moore hasn't given up hope, and sees the second star as a way of raising his business above the fray. 

How having one star, as compared to two, affects your business

He told the BBC: "When you're a one star in London at the moment, you're one of 60. When you're a two star, you're one of only a handful." 

"And then you are on an international radar. People coming to London, they will seek out a two-star Michelin meal on a trip when they've got one or two days in London." 

"It's really important."  

Despite wanting it back very badly, the restaurateur admits that he hasn't cracked the Guide's secretive code - and he knows that there's more to it than just gimmicks.

A guide to the Guide?

"Bizarrely, there are no guide-rules to how to get a second star back. We're in a game where we don't know the rules," he said.  

"It is often said that chefs are chasing the stars and forgetting the business. It's very easy to lose focus and to think that having lobster on the menu will give you a two-star Michelin restaurant. It won't." 

"But you would still get a two star if you were cooking cod," he added.

"You can be giving the customer too much in terms of what's on the plate, thinking that you're buying a star, and you won't get the second star by doing that." 

"You only get the star by staying true to yourself, keeping the quality and showing the artistry of the food." 

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Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 11th September 2019

'We're in a game where we don't know the rules': Pied à Terre's fight to get its second star back