Michelin star awards 2023: How did we do?
Two-star award: Ahmet Dede for Dede in Baltimore, Co Cork
One-star award: Vincent Crepel for Terre in Castlemartyr, Co Cork
Chef mentor award: Michael Deane of Eipic in Belfast
Service and welcome award: Declan Maxwell of Spitalfields in Dublin
*No restaurant in Ireland was demoted or lost its Michelin star
And that’s it! No new three stars for Great Britain or Ireland in the 2023 guide. Bit of a let down for Chapter One by Mickael Viljanen. But we did well with a new two-star, a new one-star and the Service and Mentor awards too. Well done everyone.
“This is for Ireland and for Turkey!” says Ahmet Dede in his acceptance speech. Just three restaurants in Ireland and the UK made the leap from one to two stars this year.
And they did it- two stars for Dede in Baltimore. “Balance and sophistication that warranted two Michelin stars,” reads the citation. Northern Irish chef Clare Smyth may have stumbled over the name, but Ahmet Dede owns the stage as he accepts his award.
Four new Green stars for restaurants that champion sustainability - none of them in Ireland, this time.
More good news for Ireland as Belfast chef and restaurateur Michael Deane takes the mentor chef award. “I have been around a long time, and in the words of Thomas Keller, it’s important we make the next generation better, without that, we don’t have anything,” he says.
That’s all 20 new one-stars announced, so just the one for Ireland, for Terre at Castlemartyr Resort.
Oh! Just one star for Vincent Crepel at Terre at Castlemartyr Resort in Cork. That’s a bit of a surprise. Some were hoping for more for this one.
There are 20 new one-stars in the 2023 guide. Will any be from Ireland?
“Sorry, I am in a bit of shock,” says a clearly emotional Declan Maxwell as he steps up to receive the award. “Spitalfields is a pub in Dublin 8 and we have kept it as a pub, and then we have the restaurant, and hopefully we have married them both together. I always tell waiters you should treat customers as if you’re bringing them into your house for a dinner party,” he says. “And always have someone there to say goodnight at the end of the evening.”
And it’s a strong start for Ireland with Declan Maxwell awarded the Michelin service award for Spitalfields pub in Dublin’s Liberties.
Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the guide, is not in attendance at Silverstone but welcomes guests from his location in Paris, promising a host of new restaurants that have been awarded or promoted.
And we’re off ... with a promise of “new stars” and special awards. Beginning with a snapshop from the past couple of years when the awards were virtual.
And ... the livestream with its background music just sprang into life. No news yet on what the format for the ceremony will be, or who will be presenting. But the latest news from inside the venue is that all the usual suspects (from Ireland) are in attendance, so it looks like the predicted cull might not be on the cards. Good luck everyone!
How much would you pay for dinner? A quick comparison of the prices for dinner (tasting menus in each case) at Ireland’s four restaurants that each have two Michelin stars, reveals that the most expensive tasting menu is at Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, where the eight-course menu degustation is currently €235. At Aimsir, where the tasting menu can run up to 18 servings, including snacks, the price is €220. The tasting menu for dinner at both Liath and Chapter One costs €180.
Before the awards start landing, here is a look back at what Michelin said about Ireland’s star-studded restaurants last year: Michelin-starred restaurants in Ireland 2022: The complete guide.
Newspapers, not generally known for having deep pockets to fund restaurant reviews, have been loosening the purse strings recently to allow critics to see what all the fuss is about at Terre, the restaurant at Castlemartyr Resort hotel in Co Cork. There is speculation that Terre will emulate the feat pulled off by Aimsir in the 2019 guide and make its debut with two stars.
We took a look at what was coming, and met the French chef patron Vincent Crepel, for a First Look feature the week before it opened last September. The Michelin ambition was clear. A recruitment notice for the role of restaurant director sought candidates who could “consistently provide a two Michelin star guest experience.”
Earlier this month, Irish Times restaurant critic Corinna Hardgrave visited Terre for dinner, and gave it the thumbs up in her review. She described one dish as “knee-weakeningly beautiful”. Her bill for dinner for two with a bottle of wine, and two glasses of champagne she tried valiantly to swerve, came to €491. Over at the Independent, critic Katy McGuinness racked up a bill for an eye-watering €778 for two.
Latest moves in the betting suggest promotion may be on the cards for Dede at The Customs House in Baltimore, where Ahmet Dede and Maria Archer’s restaurant has had one star since 2021. That would be a rapid promotion, but Dede’s cooking with his all-Turkish team has gone from strength to strength.
In a function room at Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire, home of British motor racing and a fitting venue for the launch of a guide published by a tyre company, the great and the good of the British and Irish culinary world are now gathering to learn of their fate.
Michelin loves to spring surprises, but even so just being present at the gig is likely to be good news for many. It will be a first time invitation to the ceremony for some chefs, and as the welcome drinks circulate, they will be secure in the knowledge that they are there for a reason – to receive their star, or stars.
But here is also the likelihood that some who featured in the previous edition of the influential guide did not receive the coveted invitation to attend and know that doesn’t bode well. Faces in the crowd will be scanned for absentees, as well as new additions. It’s knuckle-biting time.
There is always a flurry of speculation, and gossip, surrounding these awards. This year, one of the main points of interest is how Michelin will react to the news that Aimsir in Co Kildare, one of the four two-star restaurants in Ireland, and the one many tipped to become our first three-star, has lost its founding chef patron Jordan Bailey.
Bailey and his wife, Majken Bech Bailey, the restaurant’s former general manager who subsequently took on another management role with the Cliff hospitality group, announced their resignations last month. Bailey’s last service at Aimsir will be on April 15th. You can read the story here.
There are currently 21 restaurants in Ireland, North and South, with stars, four of them at two-star level. How many will there be tonight? One of the 21, Loam in Galway, will not feature as owners Enda McEvoy and Sinead Meacle, announced in January that the one-star restaurant would not be reopening in its current location, and that they were working on a new project.
Will Ireland’s first three-star restaurant be announced tonight? That’s the question on everyone’s lips as the canapes are passed and the Champagne is poured at Silverstone. Currently, the smart money is on Chapter One by Mickael Viljanen, in Dublin 1, being first past this particular post.
Viljanen, who was born in Sweden and raised in Finland, has been in Ireland since 2000. He worked at The Tannery in Dungarvan and Gregan’s Castle in Co Clare, and earned his first star at The Greenhouse in Dublin 2, in 2016. He held this accolade until promoted to two stars in 2020
The following year he moved north of the river Liffey to open Chapter One by Mickael Viljanen, in partnership with Ross Lewis, who had held a single star at Chapter One since 2007. In the 2022 guide, Chapter One by Mickael Viljanen made its debut as a two-star.
Reviewing the restaurant in August 2021, Irish Times restaurant critic Corinna Hardgrave said: “This is the best restaurant in Ireland. It’s world class”. Awarding her lunch a 10/10 score, she described it as “perfection at its most exquisite”.
For some background on Michelin in Ireland, and the winners and losers over the years since the inspectors first visited in 1974, take a look back at this recent Irish Times Magazine feature. Michelin Stars – the power to make or break careers, businesses and lives.
Over the past couple of days, Dublin and Cork airports have seen a flurry of chefs flying out of Ireland. What could it be? A sudden urge to take a short break in the UK? Or something else? Here are a few pre-trip snaps shared on social media that might or might not be related to tonight’s event.
Good afternoon and welcome to The Irish Times live blog for the Michelin Guide UK & Ireland 2023 star ceremony, which gets underway at 6pm and is expected to conclude an hour later. Buckle in, it’s expected to be a rocky ride.
After a period of status quo during the pandemic, the gloves are said to be off at Michelin. In the recently published French edition of the guide, 25 restaurants lost stars. This is the first in-person event Michelin has held in the UK in three years and speculation is rife. Time to serve the (truffle-salted) popcorn.