Michelin Guide UK 2018: winners reactions

The Staff Canteen

Now the dust has settled after the release of the Michelin Guide UK 2018, we take a look at what some of the new Michelin star chefs had to say about appearing in the new guide.

The Staff Canteen spoke to some of the winning chefs after the live event to find out how they were feeling! 

Claude Bosi, chef patron, Bibendum, two Michelin Stars, Michelin Guide UK 2018

Claude Bosi, Bibendum

I think I s**t myself today! It’s been a short ride but very eventful. I was not expecting to go back to two stars straight away – I thought it would be one, then two. But I have the magical two with me and it’s been great…

I am at home. Everybody says ‘you find your own truth’ and I’ve found it. It’s a magical place, I’m enjoying myself, I love the place. I have fantastic support from my wife who understands the amount of work that has to go in to it. My team’s been with me 100 percent, working very hard. I’m loving every minute of it.

It will definitely increase the business – that’s the power of Michelin. That’s why we all want it, it is just satisfaction to know we are doing the right thing and people who have been liking it since we started were right.

Matt Worswick, The Latymer, Pennyhill Park, one Michelin star, Michelin Guide UK 2018

Matt Worswick, The Latymer

It’s incredible. We’ve been working our arses off trying to build the reputation. To be recognised by Michelin, it’s a dream come true. Everything that you’ve worked for, the big guys are saying ‘yeah, you’re doing a good job.’ The team have worked their nuts off, so I’m over the moon for them and for us.

I think it’s just a benchmark for people to work towards. It’s exposure, it’s a mark of authority to say ‘it’s half decent here, you’re doing alright’. For the guys, to give all of us a sense of confidence. It’s a real special thing. I live my life by the Guide. I work in places, I eat in places, I’ve trained at Michelin star level and now I’ve got one for myself, in my own right. It’s amazing.

Adam Smith, Coworth Park

Hasn’t quite sunk it yet. As a cook, you always dreamed of these things and you work very hard for it. I think for the last ten years of my life, I’ve worked in places where we’ve aspired to achieve these things and as a cook you go up and you get to a point where, it’s a real focus of what you want to do. But I think you also get to a point, which is what it very much is at Coworth and the goal set at Coworth was always to have a busy restaurant with happy customers, and I think that was always the outset from the General Manager and she’s been an amazing support to me. To achieve this so quickly, I mean we’ve only just been there thirteen, fourteen months – to achieve this pretty much within our first full year there is amazing. 

I’m very proud of the team. People is the biggest thing, I’ve got a team of people, my sous chef in the restaurant has been with me for six years, I’ve got a pastry chef who I’ve worked alongside for six, seven years. It’s the people, it’s not just me, it’s all the other people around us that make it happen.”  

 Tom Kerridge, The Coach 

 The Coach almost came as a relief space from The Hand and Flowers , because the pressure on The Hand is huge in terms of it being two stars. That pressure that it has for customer expectation and the pressures that we put on ourselves. We wanted to do an extension of The Hand and cook something that was a little bit freer but it's all about neighbourhood restaurant, ingredients coming in, people of Marlow, a local community space. So the pressure that we took away was a booking system, we wanted people to just turn up and it's a pub. Again, you can come in for a pint, it was important that you could watch sport, that the news could be on, it was important that it became a community space and a hub. There will now be added pressure on The Coach, but it's their own fault! They shouldn't be so bloody good.
We're just going to keep doing what we do and I'm so proud of the whole team because it's just a team-led effort. It's a concept that I sat down with with Nick Beardshaw three and a bit years ago, and I said 'Listen, what do we want from the perfect pub?' and it obviously involved great food. And I'm so pleased for Nick and Tom and for all of those guys who put so much effort in from start to finish - I'm so proud of all of them!

Mark Birchall

Mark Birchall, Moor Hall

It means the world to me. There's probably only two or three things in my life that come close to this and that was probably the birth of my sons! We've got an amazing team and we've been open seven months, let's not forget, and to achieve this in seven months, especially in quite a rural location, it's amazing. Our team's got such great experience - the commitment they've shown to get this open and hit the standards they've hit so quickly, it's incredible. All we want to do is give a memorable guest experience. We just want to give somebody something to remember for the rest of their lives. 

Phil Howard, Elystan Street

It’s wonderful, Rebecca and I had a very clear idea of what we’re going to try and achieve with this restaurant, it was a personal achievement and it really wasn’t about win awards. I think at 51 you have a level of confidence as a human being let alone a cook and it enables you to actually fire from the hip a bit more and just relax and enjoy the journey rather than take anything too seriously.

Marty Lau, sous chef at the Araki on behalf of Mitsuhiro

It's been a dream come through for my master, giving up three stars is not an easy thing to do and coming here and being able to re-enact that achievement, he will be over the moon. It just goes to show Japan is not the only place with great ingredients, and it's down to ability, passion and willingness to put that power behind all of the ingredients. The whole team had put in a lot of hard work, we are there every single day, there's no breaks with shifts all the chefs are there every single day and that is what allows us to be so consistent."

Niall Keating, Whatley Manor

I'm absolutely elated, I can't put it in to words how much it means. The whole team have worked so hard this year and we went into a restaurant which already had Michelin stars. There was a lot of pressure but everyone had been very supportive. To stand up and get the star in front of chefs I worked for and who introduced me to what it means to be in this guide brings real fire to your belly. I just can't believe after eight months of what we've been doing we got the star even though I was confident it's an amazing achievement.

Peter Sanchez, Paco Tapas

I didn't know why I had been invited, I know Casamia will get two stars one day regardless of how long it takes but for the Tapas bar to get one - that is a real achievement. There's not many tapas bars in the world with stars! It's the team who create the consistency everyday, we have the most amazing ingredients and it was Jonray who said we should do the tapas bar where it is today. To go from that thought, to execution and then getting the star is amazing. 

Peter Sanchez Iglesias, Paco Tapas, one Michelin star, Michelin Guide UK 2018

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 3rd October 2017

Michelin Guide UK 2018: winners reactions