LONDON • The boss is pleased.
Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay was on hand to congratulate his former leading chef Clare Smyth when her restaurant was one of three in Britain to join the list of two-star eateries in the Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2019.
Core By Clare Smyth, which opened to widespread acclaim last year, was too late for inclusion in the 2018 guide and skipped the most common route of initially winning a single star.
The other two-star newcomers are Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs, in London; and Moor Hall, a restaurant with rooms in the countryside of northern Lancashire.
The stars were announced in London at a ceremony attended by 150 chefs from Britain and overseas in an event that is the highlight of the British culinary calendar.
There were also 21 new one-star establishments. No new restaurant won the top accolade of three stars, though there was widespread speculation that Smyth might achieve that status.
Smyth, who catered for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding reception in May, was the only female chef in Britain with three Michelin stars when she ran Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London.
She was with Ramsay for more than 13 years.
She has consistently stepped up to the plate, winning the Best Female Chef award from The World's 50 Best organisation in April.
At Core in Notting Hill, she has dispensed with tablecloths and stiff service and created unfussy dishes, including her signature Potato and Roe, a starter based around a potato with beurre blanc, herring and trout roe.
Other dishes include Isle of Mull scallop tartare with sea vegetable consomme; and pear and verbena, with poire Williams sorbet.
The two stars for Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs was an unexpected and popular award. It is the venture of husband-and-wife team James Knappett and Sandia Chang.
He creates gourmet dishes in the small dining room hidden behind a casual restaurant where she serves hot dogs and Champagne, along with sides such as tater tots.
The third winner of two stars is Mark Birchall, a protege of chef Simon Rogan, who was awarded a single star after opening Moor Hall last year. He is known for dishes such as grilled langoustine with smoked marrow and green tomato.
The new one-star winners in London include Brat, Leroy, Hide, Sabor, Roganic and Ikoyi.
While there were cheers for the winners in the ceremony at the BFI Imax in Waterloo, there was disappointment that no new restaurant won a third star.
Core was hotly tipped and speculation surrounds establishments such as L'Enclume and Sat Bains each year.
The five restaurants that retained their three stars are The Araki; Restaurant Gordon Ramsay; Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester; Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck; and Alain Roux's Waterside Inn.