The great and the good of the food world assembled at the IMAX cinema in Waterloo today for the grand reveal of the new Michelin stars for 2019. 180 chefs turned up for the ceremony which was quite different to previous reveals with the guide going for much more of a red carpet impact.
After a slightly excruciating introduction which was roundly panned by chefs watching the show live on Facebook, the presenters brought Gordon Ramsay up on stage as a kind of celebrity chef meet and greeter for the ceremony.
And if anyone was wondering at this stage whether Gordon's Royal Hospital Road had retained its three stars it was pretty much confirmed when he was asked whether having three stars still mattered? Ramsay's response? "Do you have any kind of idea of the shit I'd get if I lost my third star?"
As for the whole process of winning, Ramsay said, "One star was magical, two was the dream and three was the triple Oscar life achievement. But staying there - that's the achievement." For the chefs picking up stars for the first time he had these words of encouragement. "Don't panic. And enjoy it!"
Speculation in the run-up to the event was rife that Core by Clare Smyth was expecting big things - particularly when Gordon Ramsay turned up - and so it proved...she went straight in at two stars. The restaurant, which has been open for just over a year is having a good year - they also went into the Good Food Guide at number three a few weeks ago.
Probably the biggest surprise of the evening was the elevation of Kitchen Table/Bubbledogs from one to two Michelin stars. It also looked like it was a surprise to both owners - husband and wife team James Knappett and Sandia Chang, who seemed pretty bowled over by the news.
"It's hard to work with your partner, we're each other's biggest critic - but we trust each other and also push each other to get better every single day." said a visibly emotional Chang. And at this point, James took a moment to take a selfie with himself, his wife and Gordon.
London picked up the same number of new one stars as last year - six - and we reckon that most London foodies will be broadly supportive of the restaurants that were picked. In East London we had the relocated Leroy and Tomas Parry's Brat picking up stars. In the centre of town, the teams at Ikoyi, Sabor, Hide and Roganic were all celebrating their one star wins too.
So, overall - London has the same number of restaurants celebrating today as they did this time last year. That said, we're slightly down on last year's total tally of stars with no new three star restaurant. But broadly speaking the results should please anyone who's been following the London restaurant scene this past year.
The bad news was for Marcus Wareing whose Knightsbridge restaurant went down from two to one star. Those who lost their only stars were Outlaw’s at the Capital, Ametsa, Jamavar and Lima Fitzrovia.
London's new one Michelin stars:
London's new two Michelin stars
- Core by Clare Smyth
- Kitchen Table/Bubbledogs
PLUS - our full guide to the new Michelin stars in London
To read more about all those restaurants - including how much it costs to eat there - read our full guide to London's Michelin starred restaurants for 2019.
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