Due to the on-going pandemic and safety considerations for chefs, restaurateurs and the MICHELIN team, this year’s launch of the MICHELIN Guide Great Britain and Ireland is taking place in a digital format only, via Instagram, Twitter and the MICHELIN Guide website.
The five Special Award winners were announced on February 15th (ahead of the unveiling of the new MICHELIN Stars on February 16th).
These Special Awards highlight exceptional people and remarkable teams who have particularly impressed the MICHELIN Inspectors over the past year. We take a closer look at the winners for 2022…
CHEF MENTOR AWARD, sponsored by Blancpain – Winner Philip Howard at Elystan Street
Philip held Two MICHELIN Stars for 17 years at The Square, where he established himself as one of the UK’s leading chefs. He is a “chef’s chef”, who doesn’t shout about his achievements, and the fact that he can still be found behind the stove demonstrates his passion and focus. Many great chefs have passed through his kitchens.
Click here to read more about him in a dedicated article.
YOUNG CHEF AWARD – Winners Luke, Nathaniel and Theo Selby at Evelyn's Table
For the first time, this award celebrates not just one but three young chefs – the three brothers who run the intimate basement counter restaurant Evelyn’s Table. It’s often said that you should never work with friends or family and, before this, the brothers had kept their working lives separate, however they have now come together to wholeheartedly disprove this statement by forming an unbeatable trio. There is a clear synergy to this team, who exude infectious enthusiasm, and passion seeps from every pore as they create and then describe each dish. Luke, Nathaniel and Theo are an inspiration to all and a meal at their restaurant will linger long in the memory.
WELCOME AND SERVICE AWARD – Winner Dale Dewsbury at Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles
Huge smiles, a passion for their craft and a skill for anticipating guests’ every need create an exceptional service experience here at Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles. From the warm welcome to the heartfelt goodbye, every guest is made to feel special, and the whole experience runs like clockwork. For over 20 years Dale has not only led by example but has supported, encouraged, coached, and shared his knowledge and experience with his wonderful team. He has the ability not only to serve his guests to the highest standard but also to simultaneously be on hand whenever his staff need him. This outstanding level of service was instilled in him by the restaurant’s founder, the late Andrew Fairlie, whose memory remains at the forefront of everything they do – and he would be immensely proud.
SOMMELIER AWARD – Winner Isa Bal at Trivet
Part-owner of Trivet along with Jonny Lake, sommelier Isa has had an illustrious career which has spanned over 20 years, including 12 years as Head Sommelier at The Fat Duck. His enthusiasm for wine knows no bounds and he is an admirable torchbearer for lesser-known regions. The passionately compiled, highly original list is fascinating and delivers a unique historic take, with wines listed according to when winemaking first commenced in each country. It boasts wines from rarely seen regions such as Georgia, Armenia and Turkey – many of which are not featured elsewhere in the UK – but the classics are also well-represented, and Isa skilfully suggests pairings from both. The symbols highlighting biodynamic, organic, vegan, skin contact and funky wines are also a useful feature.
OPENING OF THE YEAR AWARD – Winner SY23 in Aberystwyth
Fun, contemporary SY23 brings a breath of fresh air to this quaint seaside town in West Wales. Affable chef and part-owner Nathan Davies is an Ynyshir alumnus and is supported by a friendly, enthusiastic service team. Sleek Sitka Spruce tables come together with burnished tan leather chairs and a moody blue colour scheme to make a statement visually, while the buzzy ground floor bar and vibrant soundtrack contribute to the lively atmosphere. The open kitchen takes centre stage in the dining room, with the charcoal grill used to great effect throughout the 9-course menu, which sees original, modern dishes served to every guest at the same time. European and Asian influences lead the way, and foraging, pickling and fermenting all play their part. The generously priced wines by the glass provide the opportunity to try something new and really make a night of it.