Ynyshir in Wales has been named the UK's best restaurant for the second year running at the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards, announced on Monday 12th June 2023 at London's Hurlingham Club.
The National Restaurant Awards remain one of the most awaited events in the UK's food calendar, the annual countdown of the top 100 restaurants in the UK voted for by the UK's leading chefs, restaurateurs and food writers.
Winner Ynyshir is overseen by chef-patron Gareth Ward, whose bold and uncompromising approach continues to challenge the UK's fine dining scene with a singular Japanese-influenced tasting menu of numerous small courses. Located in a traditional country house hotel that has since been painted black, Ynyshir provides a culinary experience like no other, combining a thumping soundtrack with a succession of tiny plates, cooked over fire and served directly by the chefs to the diners' tables.
This year's list shows the return of the capital's dominance in the restaurant scene, with a total of 54 restaurants from London in the top 100 list and only three in the top 10 located outside of London.
The highest new entry at number five and winner of the Opening of the Year award, sponsored by Tripleseat, goes to Henry Harris' Bouchon Racine. In contrast to this year's winner, Bouchon Racine celebrates classic French cuisine in a small dining room above a historic pub in Farringdon, London. A stalwart of the London dining scene for more than 30 years, Harris worked as executive chef at Harvey Nichols' Fifth Floor Restaurant before opening his first solo venture, Racine, in 2002.
The Ledbury takes home the Service Award, sponsored by Liberty Wines and Rathfinny Wine Estate, while the restaurant's 29-year-old sous chef April Lily Partridge has been named this year's Chef to Watch, sponsored by Belazu Ingredient Co.
The Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Nespresso, goes to Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver of London's St John. Since the opening of their ground-breaking Smithfield restaurant in 1994, Henderson and Gulliver have been recognised as pioneers of nose-to-tail cooking, with the restaurant becoming one of the most influential internationally in terms of cuisine, design and philosophy. Expanding on the success of their flagship, the pair have launched St John Bread and Wine in Spitalfields and St John Marylebone, as well as a bakery, a winery and their own label wine.
The Sustainability Award goes to Pensons, which was recognised for its creation of an on-site laundry powered by solar panel and using collected rainwater, leading to a huge reduction in energy use and water consumption.
The ceremony was held today at The Hurlingham Club, with the following restaurants being honoured (London restaurants in bold), and the full list of awards below:
● Estrella Damm National Restaurant of the Year: Ynyshir
● Best Restaurant in England: Moor Hall
● Best Restaurant in Northern Ireland: Ox
● Best Restaurant in Wales: Ynyshir
● Best Restaurant in Scotland: The Glenturret Lalique Restaurant
● Chef of the Year: Kenny Atkinson
● Restaurateur of the Year, sponsored by Entegra: Samyukta Nair
● Chef to Watch, sponsored by Belazu Ingredient Co: April Lily Partridge
● Opening of the Year, sponsored by Tripleseat: Bouchon Racine
● One to Watch, sponsored by Woods Foodservice: The Midland Grand Dining Room
● The Sustainability Award, sponsored by Estrella Damm: Pensons
● Gastropub of the Year, sponsored by Estrella Damm: Parkers Arms
● The Service Award, sponsored by Liberty Wines and Rathfinny Wine Estate: The Ledbury
● Wine List of the Year: Maison Francois
● Cocktail List of the Year, sponsored by Franklin & Sons: Roots
● Innovator of the Year, sponsored by Sevenrooms: Apricity
● Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Nespresso: Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver
Congratulations to all who made the list. You can read more about the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards and the featured restaurants here.
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