Yorkshire chef Frances Atkins today said it had been an ‘honour and a privilege’ to be one of just seven women to receive a Michelin star in the UK in the last 16 years.
On Monday the Yorke Arms in Ramsgill, which Mrs Atkins owned with husband Bill for 20 years until they sold it last year to local entrepreneur Jonathan Turner, was one of 15 restaurants to lose its Michelin star. But Mrs Atkins and Mr Turner said today that the loss of the star was an opportunity.
“It has been an honour and a privilege to recognised by Michelin during my career, but with change comes opportunity,” said Mrs Atkins.
“I didn’t buy the Yorke Arms because Frances Atkins had a Michelin star,” added Mrs Turner. “I respect what Michelin stands for in gastronomy, however it does not reflect how much more the Yorke Arms and Nidderdale has to offer.”
Mrs Atkins was one of the first women in the UK, and only the second in Yorkshire to receive a Michelin star. Tessa Bramley of the Old Vicarage in Sheffield had been awarded one five years earlier, but lost hers in 2015.
While it was a sad day for Nidderdale, there were celebrations at Hetton where the once renowned Angel, under the stewardship of Michelin veteran Michael Wignall , received its first Michelin star. Mr Wignall and business partner James Wellock bought the gastropub last year.
“I am proud that we are putting The Angel well and truly back on the culinary map,” said Mr Wignall. “Getting a
Michelin star is a testament to everyone who works there, I couldn’t have done it without them.”
He pledged that things would not change at the Angel, although there is a planned refurbishment which will see it close next January for around six weeks.
Plans for a 24 cover fine dining restaurant adjacent to The Angel are currently at appeal.
Yorkshire has five Michelin starred restaurants after Box Tree Ilkley lost its last year. The other are the Black Swan at Oldstead, the Pipe and Glass, South Dalton, The Man Behind the Curtain, Leeds and the Star Inn, Harome.