WHEN YOUNG chef Adam Smith left behind a glittering career at one of London’s finest five-star hotels for a country pub in Yorkshire, some of his less enlightened colleagues may have believed he had gone, quite literally, from the Ritz to the rabble.
Yet proof that the county’s culinary reputation can rival the capital is in the pudding, mains and starters at Skipton’s Burlington restaurant.
The eatery, part of the Devonshire Arms Country Hotel and Spa, has today been unveiled as a new, proud owner of four rosettes in the AA’s coveted bi-annual award- one which only 36 in the UK can boast.
Mr Smith’s arrival from the Ritz London, where he worked for almost a decade and rose to the rank of executive sous chef, just over 18 months ago has been credited with helping the restaurant, which northern edge of the Duke of Devonshire’s Bolton Abbey estate gain this most prestigious of accolades.
Moreover, the fact that the Burlington is the only establishment in the whole of the UK to be given four rosettes in the latest list, has further cemented the region’s reputation as a foodie force to be reckoned with.
Unveiling its award-winners, the AA said: “Here, against panoramic views over the countryside and the river Wharf, Adam Smith pulls out all the stops for dynamic contemporary Yorkshire cooking full of innovation and intensity.
“Smith’s output is sophisticated, finely worked, tirelessly inventive, but everything that comes your way has earned its place on the table.”
The AA said that while a string of north and west Yorkshire eateries, such as Helmsley’s Black Swan and the Angel Inn in Hetton, Skipton enjoy three-rosette status, the Burlington is the only one in the county which can display four of those sought-after red roses above its threshold.
It is quite an achievement for 27-year-old Mr Smith, who began his career in the kitchen as a pot washer at the local pub in his native Birmingham. Some of the most popular dishes, which mix classic staples with new techniques, include the marinated scallop which comes with avocado, radish and a pig’s head croquette.
“It’s quite flattering that we’re the only one on the list,” said Mr Smith.
“The restaurant has held it before in the past and I’m really happy I’ve helped get it back.
While managing a team of nine kitchen staff may be a world away from the 65 chefs of the Ritz, there is no doubt his heart is in God’s own county. He puts his success partly down to access to local produce and suppliers in Yorkshire.
“In London, you’re constantly competing with other restaurants for supplies, but here I’ve formed great relationships with local businesses,” added Mr Smith.
Along with a string of satisfied customers, the Burlington has won plaudits from the Duke of Devonshire himself.
He said: “We are extremely lucky to have such a talented rising star with us e are very proud to support Adam, his team and the superb Yorkshire growers who supply the kitchen.”