The new edition of The Good Food Guide 2011 published this week and with it came the news of the Editors’ Award winners.
Editors’ Awards do not necessarily go to restaurants or chefs with the highest cooking score, but rather to those that have impressed with achievement or sheer dedication during the year.
Best Chef: Sat Bains, Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottinghamshire
Sat Bains is a chef who is always moving onward and upward. His daring culinary style continues to evolve and it’s thrilling stuff, guaranteed to make you think about food afresh.
Best Up-and-Coming Chef: Mary-Ellen McTague, Aumbry, Greater Manchester
Mary-Ellen McTague has form in the North West (at ramsons) and nationally (at The Fat Duck), but this small, tentative first project is done with care, on a modest budget, with good cooking at its heart.
Best New Entry 2011: Artichoke, Buckinghamshire.
After months of closure due to a fire the Artichoke is back and better than ever – an affable blend of fresh ideas, serious intent and neighbourly good humour.
Best Pub Newcomer: Simon Bonwick, The Three Tuns, Oxfordshire.
Rejuvenated old town-centre pub and talented chef combine in a first solo venture that delivers as much for drinkers as it does for diners with good value bar and restaurant food.
Best Pub Chef: Jason King, The Wellington Arms, Hampshire.
With his beehives, herb garden and army of hens, Jason King delivers his own version of The Good Life as well as offering some of the best regional produce in the area – all delivered in carefully crafted, unpretentious dishes that are full of flavour.
Best Fish Restaurant: Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Cornwall.
Eating here is an education in seafood (and Cornish landed fish at that) presented in incredible, impeccably executed dishes. Natural intensity and clear flavours are the hallmarks, and nothing overpowers, cloys or distracts from the real business on the plate.
Best Value for Money: delifonseca, Merseyside.
A global bistro above a well-stocked deli where, during daylight hours, beefed-up sandwiches provide much-needed fuel. In the evening attention turns to a blackboard packed with local goodies transformed into interesting international dishes.
Best Use of Local Produce: Ode, Devon.
At the heart of this tiny restaurant is a passion for sourcing the finest seasonal Devon produce, whether ethically reared meats, line-caught fish and local organic fruit and vegetables – which the kitchen injects with vivid flavours and some bold combinations.
Wine List of the Year: The Queensberry Hotel, Olive Tree Restaurant, Somerset.
The Olive Tree Restaurant wine list is an object-lesson in its unstinting commitment to quality. Nearly three dozen wines by the glass lead you in to a list that is structured imaginatively by wine style and is teeming with pedigree producers.
Best Family Restaurant: Cwtch, Wales.
Families are really very welcome here with children especially well catered for – being offered crayons and their own menu.
Celebrating 60 years of The Good Food Guide
The Good Food Guide 2011 is the 60th anniversary edition of the UK’s best-selling restaurant guide. First compiled by Raymond Postgate in a bid to improve the lot of British diners, Postgate formed The Good Food Club, recruiting an army of volunteers to inspect restaurants anonymously and report back.
His aims were simple, among them ‘to raise the standard of cooking in Britain’ and ‘to do ourselves all a bit of good by making our holidays, travels and evenings out in due course more enjoyable’. Postgate’s legacy lives on in the 60th anniversary edition of The Good Food Guide 2011 – still compiled from readers’ feedback and anonymous, independent inspections. The Guide has doubled in size, and now features over 1,300 restaurants, cafés and pubs that offer delicious food and excellent service from all over the UK. You can read more about the Guide’s history here.