Michelin Awards Three Stars to Two Female Chefs in London

Michelin announced two new three-star restaurants in London on Monday — both led by women chefs.

The awards go to Hélène Darroze at the Connaught and to Core by Clare Smyth. They are the first women in the U.K. to win three stars in their own right, though Smyth was the guardian of the three stars at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, where she was formerly chef patron.

“I’m thinking of all the women working in kitchens, and I want to tell them what is possible,” Darroze said on receiving the award in an online event. “Just believe in yourself, and anything can happen.”

French-born Darroze opened her restaurant at the Connaught hotel in 2008. She holds two stars at her establishment in Paris. Smyth trained under Gordon Ramsay and Alain Ducasse, but left Ramsay to open Core in 2017.

Another notable award was a second Michelin star for A. Wong, making it the first Chinese restaurant in the U.K. to hold two stars. Da Terra and Restaurant Story, both in London, also were new recipients of two Michelin stars. Seventeen restaurants were awarded new single stars. A total of 23 restaurants also received a new green-star award for their sustainable approach to gastronomy.

The Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland is being published at a time when U.K. restaurants are closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Prime Minister Boris Johnson initially ordered establishments to shut March 23, and there have been two further lockdowns since then.

“Why then would we be launching a guide and awarding Stars?” Michelin said in a statement. “We want to promote the industry as much as we possibly can. We want to celebrate the many amazing restaurants in Great Britain & Ireland and all the hugely talented chefs and restaurateurs. We want to shine a light on our industry.”

Michelin said it began work on the guide in August 2019 and much had been achieved before the lockdown. Michelin delayed publication, and this year’s guide will only be online, which allowed for late updates. It said no shortcuts were taken and there was no change in standards.

Michelin also announced16 new Bib Gourmand awards, including seven in London. There are a total of 126 Bib Gourmand restaurants in the new guide, recognized for offering good food at competitive prices.

Three stars are given for “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey,” Michelin says. “Our highest award is given for the superlative cooking of chefs at the peak of their profession.” Two stars represent “excellent cooking, worth a detour.” One star is for “high-quality cooking, worth a stop.” Michelin also has the Bib Gourmand, a separate category of award for good-value, inexpensive restaurants.

The French tiremaker produced its first guide in 1900. It was free of charge until 1920 and was intended for chauffeurs. The volume contained practical information, including street maps and tips on repairing tires.

Below is a complete list of the three star restaurants in Great Britian and Ireland as well as new additions for the other categories.

Three Stars

Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, London
Core by Clare Smyth, London (new entry)
Gordon Ramsay, London
Hélène Darroze at the Connaught, London (new entry)
Sketch (the Lecture Room & Library), London
Fat Duck, Bray, England
Waterside Inn, Bray, England

New Two Stars

A. Wong, London
Da Terra, London
Restaurant Story, London

New One Stars

Benares, London
Casa Fofo, London
Cornerstone, London
Davies and Brook, London
Muse, London
Restaurant Behind, London
Sola, London
Hide and Fox, Saltwood, England
Hjem, Wall, England
Latymer at Pennyhill Park
Osip, Bruton, Somerset, England
Outlaw’s New Road, Port Isaac, England
Pea Porridge, Bury St. Edmunds, England
Roots, York, England
Shaun Ranking at Grantley Hall, Ripon North, England
Cail Bruich, Glasgow, Scotland
Dede, Baltimore, Cork, Ireland

New Bib Gourmands

Fallow, London
Flor, London
Legare, London
Mo Diner, London
Paradise, London
Peckham Cellars, London
Volta Do Mar, London
Kentish Hare, Bidborough, England
The Royal, St Leonards on Sea, England
The Square, Porthleven, England
Stag & Hounds, Burrough on the Hill, England
Noto, Edinburgh, Scotland
Goldie, Cork, Ireland
Spitalfields, Dublin, Ireland
Table Forty One, Gorey, Ireland
Volpe Nera, Blackrock, Ireland

Richard Vines is Chief Food Critic at Bloomberg. Follow him on Twitter@richardvines and Instagram@richard.vines.

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