AFTER three years in the culinary “wilderness” a North Yorkshire restaurant has regained the coveted Michelin star - joining five other eateries in the region.
Andrew Pern, chef and owner of The Star Inn at Harome, said he and his team feel “privileged” to regain the culinary honour, after it lost the star in 2011 after nine years.
“The Michelin man is smiling again on The Star Inn,” he said. “After three years in wilderness, we are now back in the gang.
“It is extra special when we have just marked our 18th anniversary – to be recognised for having maintained our standards for such a long period of time is amazing.”
Inspectors for The Michelin Guide visit restaurants anonymously and without warning, meaning only those with consistency high standards are awarded a prestigious star. This year just 14 new stars were awarded throughout the country.
Tessa Bramley has owned Sheffield’s only Michelin-starred restaurant, the Old Vicarage, for 27 years. It has retained its star since 1998.
“Our main aim is to surprise and delight our customers, you don’t think of anything else,” she said. “But I have to admit when it comes to this time of year, when the Guide is due to come out, the stomach-clenching starts.
“We never take it for granted and always try to keep ahead of the game. To have such a highly-regarded guide as Michelin endorse us is amazing.”
The Pipe and Glass Inn, near Beverley, East Yorkshire, retained its star for the sixth year running. The pub, which has been owned and ran by Kate and James Mackenzie since 2006, was also named Michelin Pub of the Year in 2012.
“As we’re still the first and only restaurant in East Yorkshire to have a star, we feel like we’re flying the flag,” Mr Mackenzie said: “Although we don’t chase stars, we set out our stall when we took over nearly nine years ago, and we want to keep our standard up. Michelin inspectors can come at any time, be it a Tuesday lunchtime in February or a Saturday night in August, so we have to be consistent.”
The Yorke Arms, at Pateley Bridge, near Harrogate, has retained its star since 2003.
Chef and proprietor Frances Atkins said the pressure of retaining the star forced consistency and high quality at the restaurant, which serves seasonal, home-grown produce and locally sourced meat and game.
“We have our own style here and retaining the star is a huge vote of confidence in that style,” she said. “The Michelin star is recognised worldwide and people are coming here to taste British cooking at its best.”
It was a double celebration at The Box Tree in Ilkley, which retained its star for the tenth year, as it celebrates a decade since opening.
Director Rena Gueller said: “It’s amazing how waiting to hear the news keeps you on edge. It’s a big reward for all of us here.
“To have so may stars here in Yorkshire is really good for business, people will want to come and visit us all and see how different we are.”
Her thoughts were echoed by James Banks, whose family runs the Black Swan at Oldstead, North Yorkshire.
It retained a star for the fourth year running, at a busy time for the restaurant, with a hotel extension planned and a kitchen garden and orchard in development.
Mr Banks said: “We all offer something unique, just last week we had a diner who the night before had visited The Yorke Arms. The more stars in Yorkshire, the merrier.”
While the Michelin Star recognises the best in fine dining, the Guide’s inspectors also reward the best in more budget establishments.
This year four Yorkshire restaurants have the Bib Gourmand, the award which recognised establishments offering good food at affordable prices.
Prashad, in Drighlington, West Yorkshire, Vennell’s in Masham, North Yorkshire , El Gato Negro in Ripponden, West Yorkshire retained the honour, while Le Langhe in York gained it for the first time.
The guide’s editor, Rebecca Burr said the award reflects “the continuing trend for competitively-priced, less structured and more flexible dining.”
Each restaurant must offer three courses for £28.