“I set it up like it would be my dream place to work. Open kitchen with a screen in front so you can watch Sky Sports. It’s every chef’s dream. But hopefully the customers and the inspectors like it as well.”
This is how Tom Kerridge described The Coach, the second of his two restaurants in West Street, Marlow, as he collected its first Michelin star this week.
The pub was a new winner at the prestigious awards, which took place on Monday at The Brewery in London.
In the 2018 Guide, The Coach is described as a ‘pleasingly unpretentious kind of place’. At the event Kerridge said: “This is a huge team effort, most of all it’s about making sure we source the right ingredients and making sure the guests have a good time. I’m incredibly proud of the whole team.”
The Hand and Flowers, also in West Street and owned by Kerridge, retained its two Michelin stars.
Heston Blumenthal’s two Bray-based restaurants also kept their stars, with one for the recently refurbished Hinds Head and three for the Fat Duck.
The Waterside Inn in Bray, run by Michel and Alain Roux, kept its three stars and the Royal Oak in Paley Street retained its one. The Crown in Burchetts Green also kept its one star, with Simon Bonwick (pictured below), who runs the pub, featured in a special video at the awards ceremony to speak about how much the star, which was first awarded last year, had meant to him.
Another new winner was the Cowarth Park restaurant in the Cowarth Park Hotel in Sunningdale, which was awarded one star.
The Michelin Guide has been established for 117 years and was set up by brothers Andre and Edouard Michelin as a way to boost the demand for cars and car tyres.
In 1926 the guide began to issue stars and each is awarded by a team of inspectors who are food experts, remain anonymous and always pay their bills.
Michael Ellis, managing director of the Michelin Restaurant and Hotel Guides, said this gives them objectivity.
He said: “In Britain and Ireland in the last 15-20 years we have really seen a move towards more casual dining. People want to eat well but don’t want to get dressed up and have a fancy atmosphere.
“That has really shown in the development of pubs, 15 to 20 years ago that would be hard to imagine, going to the pub and having a one or two Michelin star meal.
“Another trend that has made a huge impression is the fact we now have a new generation of British chefs using British ingredients, their skills and what they are creating is what is now known as modern British cuisine and it is taking its rightful place on the world stage.”