Harrogate’s Van Zeller restaurant has today been crowned as the overall winner of the prestigious The Good Food Guide Readers’ Restaurant of the Year Award.
The award was presented to Tom van Zeller – chef-patron of Van Zeller – by renowned chef Angela Hartnett at a ceremony in central London today. Van Zeller triumphed over stiff competition from nine other short listed restaurants and was praised for its vibrant and ambitious cooking.
“To represent the North East in the regional awards is one thing, but to be given the national award is a huge honour of which I am incredibly proud – for my team, for my customers and for Harrogate,” said their delighted Chef Patron Tom van Zeller.
The Good Food Guide Readers’ Restaurant of the Year Award is run annually to find the UK’s favourite independently run restaurant, as nominated by the general public and aims to champion local eateries and recognise great food and good service. This year, over 44,500 diners rose to the challenge and nominated their favourite restaurants, pubs and cafés from around the UK.
The Good Food Guide has today announced the ten regional winners in its prestigious The Good Food Guide Readers’ Restaurant of the Year Awards.
The Readers’ Restaurant of the Year Awards call on the public to nominate their favourites and this year there was a vigorous response from the UK’s food lovers, with a record 44,500 people nominating independenty-run restaurants, pubs and cafes from around the UK. The Good Food Guide award judges have sifted through all the nominations to pick the regional winners and celebrate some of the best dining experiences around the country.
This year’s ten regional winners are:
– East of England – Maison Bleue, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
– London – Charlotte’s Place, Ealing
– Midlands – The Bluebell, Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire
– North East – Van Zeller, Harrogate
– North West – Grenache, Walkden, Manchester
– Northern Ireland – Mourne Seafood Bar, Belfast
– Scotland – Ubiquitous Chip, Glasgow
– South East – Jeremy’s Restaurant, Haywards Heath, W Sussex
– South West – The Swan, Wedmore, Somerset
– Wales – Y Polyn, Carmarthen
Elizabeth Carter, Consultant Editor of The Good Food Guide, said: ‘This year’s regional winners in The Good Food Guide Readers’ Restaurant of the Year awards really are a stellar bunch. Each restaurant is testament to the great dining scene around the UK and we heartily congratulate them all. Of course, what makes these awards so special is that they are based on feedback from The Good Food Guide readers – the people who are out there eating and enjoying food every day – what higher compliment could there be?’
To qualify for these esteemed awards – intended to champion local neighbourhood eateries – restaurants needed to be independently run and offer regional or local produce where possible. One of the regional winners will now go on to be named the overall winner, claiming the esteemed award of The Good Food Guide Readers’ Restaurant of the Year 2013 and and this announcement will be made at an award ceremony in London on 20th June 2012.
All ten regional winners will appear in The Good Food Guide 2013 which publishes on 10th September 2012.
The Good Food Guide has today released a sneak preview of the new 2012 guide, revealing that Heston Blumenthal has retained the UK’s culinary crown, with the Fat Duck in Bray, Berkshire once again ranked 10 out of 10 and placed at the top of its list of the UK’s top 50 restaurants.
However, there is a group of elite chefs hot on his heels, including chef Simon Rogan at L’Enclume in Cartmel, Cumbria which is ranked number 2 and Sat Bains at Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham, which is ranked number 3. There is also excitement about new entry Jason Atherton’s Pollen Street Social, which comes in at number 8.
Elizabeth Carter, Consultant Editor of the Guide, said – ‘Personally I am extremely excited by the surge this collective of chefs is showing in our top 10 rankings – whilst it’s impossible to pigeonhole them, each is devising quality dishes fusing classical skills and modern methods – it’s the vividness of the imagination they all display which is truly thrilling.’
Other chefs getting attention at the upper end of the rankings include ‘honorary Englishman’ Claude Bosi whose London restaurant Hibiscus appears in the top 10 for the first time as ‘a serious contender on the international food scene’, and Cornwall’s Nathan Outlaw, who keeps hold of the fifth position for offering ‘one of the finest dining experiences in the south west’.
The Good Food Guide 2012 will be published on 8th September.