Yorkshire’s ‘super six’ restaurants retain their Michelin stars

Lawrence Yates, head chef, and Simon Gueller, chef patron of Ilkley's Box Tree restaurant.   Picture: Bruce Rollinson
Lawrence Yates, head chef, and Simon Gueller, chef patron of Ilkley's Box Tree restaurant. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Yorkshire’s ‘Super Six’ have retained their bragging rights as being among the very best places to eat and drink in the whole of Britain.

Eagerly anticipated, though perhaps with a little apprehension for those with something to lose, the annual publication of the Michelin Guide sees culinary reputations enhanced or otherwise on the country’s restaurant scene.

Michael O'Hare, chef patron at The Man Behind the Curtain.  Picture: Simon Hulme

Michael O'Hare, chef patron at The Man Behind the Curtain. Picture: Simon Hulme

In Yorkshire it was a case of standards maintained for six restaurants who retained their hard-earned Michelin stars, while it was a return to the very top table for celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal, whose restaurant The Fat Duck regained its three stars.

One star each was awarded to the Pipe and Glass Inn in South Dalton, East Yorkshire; North Yorkshire’s Black Swan at Oldstead, Star Inn at Harome and Yorke Arms at Pateley Bridge; and West Yorkshire’s Box Tree in Ilkley and The Man Behind the Curtain in Leeds.

All still in vogue on the county’s foodie scene, the latest recognition for each establishment is sure to win a rush of new customers.

Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, hailed the restaurants for showing that Yorkshire was a leading destination for good food.

Heston Blumenthal outside his Fat Duck restaurant in Bray, Berkshire, which regained its three Michelin stars to rejoin the elite club of world eateries.   Pic: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Heston Blumenthal outside his Fat Duck restaurant in Bray, Berkshire, which regained its three Michelin stars to rejoin the elite club of world eateries. Pic: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

The tourism boss said: “Congratulations to all six of Yorkshire’s magnificent restaurants for retaining their Michelin stars. They really keep Yorkshire on the culinary map for providing first class cuisine.”

Tommy Banks, head chef of the Michelin-starred Black Swan, said his over-riding emotion at retaining the restaurant’s star was relief.

“I so much depend on it,” he said. “I’ve built the business on it. We are in rural northern England and we are very much a destination. You have to really travel to get here. Having the star means people will find you. Having that accolade gives you a lot more clout and brings in the customers. I wouldn’t want to run it without one.

“I’m proud to retain it. It’s really good for my staff - it’s a great pat on the back for them.”

Blumenthal’s return of three stars for The Fat Duck in Bray, Berkshire, was matched by only a trio of other restaurants: the Roux Brothers’ Waterside Inn, also in Bray, London’s Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester.

Maverick culinary inventor Blumenthal lost The Fat Duck’s three stars last year after he relocated it to Melbourne, Australia for 12 months.

At the unveiling of the 2017 Michelin Guide, an event which was held live for the first time, it was announced that the 50-year-old’s £255-per-person restaurant, which has just 38 covers, had rejoined the exclusive group.

Blumenthal told the event at the Institution of Engineering and Technology he had not expected to the accolade but said he was more enthusiastic than ever after winning them back.

He said: “I’m more ambitious - ambitious makes it sound like a competition - but I have more energy, more creativity, more drive, than I have ever had before,” he said.

Remarking on the standards of British cuisine, the chef added: “I would say the Georgian period was the last time when Britain had cuisine (that was) not the envy of, but as high up there as anywhere else in Europe. And then Victorians came along and just dominated everything and then went completely into French. And I think even now... I did try and persuade them at Buckingham Palace, state banquets, they are in French - why can’t you write it in English?”

AWARDS FOR GOOD VALUE

Unveiled today, Michelin’s 2017 Great Britain and Ireland Guide to the very best places to eat out includes an exhaustive listing of some 3,375 restaurants.

Among those that make the cut are eateries that have been awarded ‘Bib Gourmands’ for offering “good quality, good value cooking”.

There were 143 venues that were awarded Bib Gourmands including four establishments in Yorkshire.

The region’s recipients are Prashad, the Indian vegetarian eatery in Drighlington, Leeds, and in North Yorkshire, two country pubs and restaurants - The Dunsforth near Boroughbridge and Chadwicks Inn at Maltby - as well as Le Langhe, the Italian restaurant in York city centre.