The Glenturret Lalique becomes the second Two Michelin Star restaurant in Scotland

The 2024 restaurant selection of The Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland, was unveiled during a special ceremony held at The Midland Hotel in Manchester. This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the prestigious guide. In Glasgow, Cail Bruich and Unalome retained their one Michelin Star distinction. In Crieff, Glasgow trained chef Mark Donald won two Michelin Stars for The Glenturret Lalique restaurant, which joins Restaurant Andrew Fairlie as Scotland's second two star restaurant.

Mark Donald was approached to lead the first distillery fine dining restaurant. He had been head chef at the Balmoral Hotel's restaurant after over a decade outside of Scotland, working at restaurants including Claude Bosi’s flagship Hibiscus restaurant in London, Noma in Copenhagen and Bentley Restaurant and Bar in Sydney.

Mark Donald grew up in Torrance, a farming village on the outskirts of Glasgow. He considered studying drama after school before settling on a career as a chef. "In the menu there's puns and humour and surprises. I like to make people happy and you can do that with food. I think at the level we're working at now you can be more provocative. A bit tongue in cheek without being contrived" he told me when I visited the restaurant. 

He constructs a menu based on his travels, flavours he has discovered and people he has met along the way. "Kitchens are very international places. A dish that someone from Korea makes up for staff food can spark an idea or a conversation. I don't try to do fusion cooking at all. I will use techniques from world cooking where I think they can uplift or improve what I'm doing with Scottish produce."

"I have travelled a lot over the course of my career and encountered so many different cultures. If you are going out for dinner now, especially with the prevalence of cooking shows and everyone's exposure to good quality food, people want the flavours to be interesting and intriguing and bright."

A total of 1,162 restaurants are included in the selection, with The Ledbury announced as the Guide’s ninth Three Michelin star restaurant. A further 6 restaurants have been newly awarded Two Stars and there are 18 new One Star establishments. 6 restaurants have been recognised with a Green Star for their commitment to sustainable gastronomy and 20 restaurants were announced to have received a Bib Gourmand on 29th January, one week prior to the Ceremony.

From Cornwall to Cork, the newly crowned restaurants span across Great Britain & Ireland. London has had a highly successful year, with a new Three Star, 3 new Two Star and 11 new One Star restaurants bolstering the city’s selection. Cumbria adds 2 new One Star restaurants to its already impressive collection, and Birmingham has welcomed its first ever Two Star restaurant. The establishments themselves range in style, from counter dining to country houses. The cuisines are varied too, and this year sees both 2 new West African Stars and the selection’s first ever Two Star Indian restaurants.

Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of The MICHELIN Guide commented: “The dining scene in Great Britain & Ireland continues to be both innovative and impressive. With a new Three MICHELIN Star and 6 new Two Star restaurants, the selection’s global standing has grown even further. Among all of the newly awarded Stars, both the quality and variety of the dining experiences are wonderful to see. There are enormously talented chefs turning their hands to anything from wood-fired sharing plates to finely tuned sushi. To have so much positive news to share with the industry, at a time when restaurants are facing so many challenges, gives me great pride and is proof of the continued vitality within British and Irish dining. That this has happened in the 50th year of the Great Britain & Ireland Guide is proof of how much gastronomy has grown and evolved in that time.”

The Ledbury Joins the Three Star Family

This year provides cause for celebration, as another restaurant has received Three MICHELIN Stars. Brett Graham and everybody at The Ledbury is fully deserving of the award. When dining, the Inspectors found that they had never eaten better here and the dishes were everything they expected of a restaurant with this highest of gastronomic honours. Super produce has always been the bedrock of what they do here, including the mushrooms grown in-house and deer from their own small estate. From its refined combinations to exemplary depth of flavour, The Ledbury has it all.

6 new Two MICHELIN Star Restaurants

With 6 new Two MICHELIN Star restaurants, it has been a banner year for British and Irish gastronomy. Perhaps most significantly, the Guide has its first ever Two Star Indian restaurants in Birmingham’s Opheem and Gymkhana in London. The former is described as ‘progressive Indian cuisine’ by Chef-Owner Aktar Islam and takes a creative approach, while at the latter, Siddharth Ahuja serves up exceptional versions of time-honoured classics.

Elsewhere in London, Trivet has made the jump from One Star to Two thanks to the flavour-packed, technically superb cooking of Jonny Lake and his team. Brooklands, inside the luxury Peninsula Hotel and overseen by Claude Bosi, goes straight into the Guide with two Stars, such is the excellent quality of the ingredients and the fine execution from Chef Francesco Dibenedetto.

In Crieff, The Glenturret Lalique becomes the second Two Star restaurant in Scotland. Set inside a working distillery, it boasts not just a brilliant whisky selection but precise, sophisticated cooking from a kitchen team led by Chef Mark Donald.

County Cork has another Two Star restaurant to add to its collection in the form of Terre. Gaining One Star last year and now a second, Vincent Crepel and his kitchen team have made impressively quick work of crafting a bold, assuredly two Stars experience.

18 new One Star Restaurants

The Republic of Ireland’s year gets even better with the addition of 3 new One MICHELIN Star restaurants. Homestead Cottage, with its delicious cooking, makes a visit to the rural west coast all the more appealing. Further inland, The Bishop’s Buttery offers top-quality produce and great natural flavours to Cashel Palace Hotel, and D’Olier Street boosts Dublin’s dining scene with visually striking and technically accomplished dishes.

It’s been a great year for London too, with 11 new Starred restaurants adding to its already fabulous selection. Akoko and Chishuru have helped to put West African cuisine firmly in the spotlight by both gaining a MICHELIN Star. Each restaurant offers superb cooking that greatly enhances the UK’s culinary offering.

London’s Japanese dining scene has also improved this year, with the classic omakase experience at Sushi Kanesaka and the more creative Humble Chicken both gaining a Star. Meanwhile, wood-fired cooking continues to be on-trend with Mountain and Humo being recognised as masters of the form.

3 of the new Stars are under the auspices of big-name chefs, with Simon Rogan’s creative style in evidence at Aulis, Yannick Alléno’s cooking transported to Britain through Pavyllon London and 1890 by Gordon Ramsay serving up classical dishes inspired by Auguste Escoffier.

Rounding out London’s newly crowned restaurants are new Stars in two of its swishest neighbourhoods. In Notting Hill, Dorian is free from pretension but big on quality ingredients, while Ormer Mayfair has taken the leap to the next level by combining classical and modern cooking.

Outside of the capital, Cumbria remains blessed with a superb restaurant scene, with 2 more One MICHELIN Star restaurants added to its roster. Lake Road Kitchen becomes the third Starred restaurant in Ambleside alone, while Cedar Tree by Hrishikesh Desai sees the eponymous Chef awarded again, after holding a Star for 6 years at HRiSHi.

On the other side of the Pennines, mýse brings MICHELIN Star dining to the tiny village of Hovingham. Going straight into the Guide with a Star, it is one of the best openings of the year and the attached bedrooms make it a real destination restaurant.

Much further south, Crocadon in St Mellion has built on its Green Star from last year by being awarded One Star for its cooking this year. The field-to-fork approach continues, with great execution in the kitchen.

6 New Green Stars

The Green Star was introduced to The MICHELIN Guide Great Britain & Ireland in 2021, to highlight the restaurants at the forefront of the industry when it comes to their sustainable practices. Their outstanding eco-friendly commitments are a source of inspiration to both keen foodies and the hospitality industry as a whole. This year, there are 6 new recipients of the MICHELIN Green Star, bringing the total number of role model restaurants to 33.

-    ANNWN, Narberth -    Exmoor Forest Inn, Simonsbath -    Forge, Middleton Tyas -    Interlude, Lower Beeding -    St. Barts, London -    The Whitebrook, Whitebrook

Special Award Winners

This year, 5 Special Awards were also presented. These highlight exceptional individuals and remarkable teams who have particularly impressed The MICHELIN Inspectors over the past year.

-    MICHELIN Chef Mentor Award – Michel Roux A giant of the British restaurant industry, Michel Roux is a worthy recipient of this award. When his illustrious restaurant Le Gavroche closed last month, it shone a light on how many chefs have passed through its kitchens before going on to great things. This is a testament not just to Le Gavroche’s place at the top table of gastronomy, but to Michel’s skilled way of working with and developing the talents of young chefs.

-    MICHELIN Young Chef Award – Jake Jones from Forge, Middleton Tyas Born in York, Jake Jones worked in notable kitchens across the north of England before settling at Forge. The MICHELIN Inspectors have identified him as a chef to watch, who has successfully made his restaurant his own. At Forge, he has shown great skill in leading a team who craft interesting, original dishes with a sustainable ethos. The restaurant being awarded a Green Star this year is a testament to Jake’s dedication towards Forge's ethos.

-    MICHELIN Service Award – The team from Stage, Exeter This group of friends started their journey as the Taco Boys, in a converted horsebox on Polzeath Beach. Since then, the ‘boys’ have opened a permanent restaurant in the form of Stage, which provides a delightful experience from beginning to end. From the moment they open the door, the team welcome each and every guest like a long-lost friend. Their ability to interact with all diners, whilst making it all seem as if they are having great fun themselves, is a joy to experience.

-    MICHELIN Sommelier Award – Valentin Mouillard from L’Enclume, Cartmel Coming from a winemaking family, Valentin Mouillard has worked at L’Enclume for 7 years. He is a welcoming, engaging character and guests are drawn to him as he describes his choices with care and pride. He does not over-explain or try too hard to impress the diner, instead he offers his thoughts on the wine clearly and succinctly. The wine list he curates deftly mixes big names and lesser-known options, while his non-alcoholic flights are influenced by the restaurant’s farm and its produce.

-    MICHELIN Exceptional Cocktails Award – Ryan McHarg from The Spence, Edinburgh Housed within the beautifully ornate Gleneagles Townhouse Hotel in the very centre of Edinburgh, The Spence makes a fine setting for a cocktail. Their list includes ‘Townhouse Classics’, inspired by the six imposing statues that adorn the front of the hotel. When it comes to deciding, Ryan McHarg and his team are on hand to help; they are genial, knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their bar.

The MICHELIN Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2024 at a glance

1,162 recommended restaurants, including: - 9 Three MICHELIN Star restaurants (1 new) - 27 Two MICHELIN Star restaurants (6 new) - 170 One MICHELIN Star restaurants (18 new) - 33 MICHELIN Green Star restaurants (6 new) - 127 Bib Gourmand restaurants (20 new)  

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