The new Michelin stars for Great Britain and Ireland were announced this evening, amid what has been a hugely challenging year for hospitality.
Restaurants have had to close their doors once again, but their generosity and ingenuity has been extraordinary this past year.
From helping to feed front line workers and local communities to producing meal kits that help keep huge numbers of staff and suppliers in business and producing recipes to help us cook at home, chefs and restaurateurs have pivoted and adapted through almost impossible circumstances.
The Michelin awards this year were virtual, and 17 restaurants across the UK were newly awarded a Michelin star, which brings the total number of one starred restaurants in the 2021 guide to 158.
By postponing publication for a few months and by making the guide digital only, the inspectors say they were able to work on this edition for over 16 months, which meant the lockdowns could be easily absorbed into the working period.
No new Manchester restaurants received any Michelin stars this year – but there is still news to celebrate.
Ancoats restaurant Mana, which last year received the city’s first Michelin star in over 40 years, retained its star this year.
23 restaurants also received a new accolade in the Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland 2021: the Michelin green star.
This new distinction highlights restaurants “at the forefront of the industry when it comes to their sustainable practices and who act as role models to us all,” says the guide, which itself is being published in a digital format only this year.
“They hold themselves accountable for both their ethical and environmental standards, and work with sustainable producers and suppliers to avoid waste and reduce or even remove plastic and other non-recyclable materials from their supply chain.
“Many work directly with growers, farmers and fishermen; forage in hedgerows and woodlands; grow plants and rear animals; and use regenerative methods such as no-dig vegetable gardens and successional cover crop growing.
“They also often go beyond environmental considerations to address the quality of life of their staff, as well as contributing to local, national or global charity and education projects.”
The restaurant already has a Michelin Plate for its quality of food, and the menu receives praise in the guide: “The surprise menu is formed from whatever they have foraged that day and beasts are brought in whole and fully utilised.”
Last year, the restaurant’s chef Sam Buckley represented the North West for the BBC’s Great British Menu.
46 further restaurants have also been identified as taking positive steps to work in a greener way – and Mana in Manchester was among them.
“Launching a brand new distinction dedicated to sustainable gastronomy shows that our recognition of restaurants goes beyond the search for the best cooking,” said Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the Michelin Guides.
“It enables us to also turn the spotlight on those with a great sense of responsibility towards the environment.”
Congratulations to Mana and Where The Light Gets In.