Star-studded finale in Budapest for Michelin gala

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The Michelin guide announced new two-star restaurants and recognised outstanding talent at the gala event in the Hungarian capital, reports Tina Nielsen

Marking the end of the announcements of the 2018 Michelin guides, the event to celebrate the publication of the guide to the Main Cities of Europe was a star-studded night, which saw more than 120 chefs from across Europe gather in Budapest.

Chefs including Elena Arzak from San Sebastian’s Arzak, Guy Savoy from his eponymous restaurant in Paris and Mark Birchall from Moor Hall in the UK, made their way to the Castle Garden Bazaar in the Hungarian capital for the gala event celebrating the most recent additions to the guide.

True ambassadors

The Michelin Guide Main Cities of Europe covers 36 cities in 20 countries and recommends a total of 2,108 restaurants.

“Chefs are the true ambassadors of cities, regions and countries across Europe,” said Alexandre Taisne, CEO of Michelin Food and Drink. “Our promise is that wherever the best chefs are in the world we’ll find them.”

It was a proud night for the host country as chef Ádám Mészáros from Onyx restaurant in Budapest became the first in Hungary to clinch two stars. Onyx has been open since 2007 and was awarded the first star in 2011.

Praising the “home-grown” talent of the chef, Michelin international director Michael Ellis said, “Onyx is a most elegant dining experience. On the plate there is refinement, maturity and every dish is bursting with originality.”

Other new awards in the Hungarian capital saw a Bib Gourmand – a distinction which recognises good quality cooking at a good price – awarded to stand a Michelin Plate awarded to Olimpia.

Vienna’s restaurant scene was richly rewarded too, as the evening saw two stars awarded to an ecstatic Konstantin Filippou, from the eponymous restaurant. He joins a select group of just over 400 restaurants in the world to hold two stars.

Four new restaurants were awarded one star in Vienna: Blue Mustard, Das Loft, Pramerl & the Wolf, and Shiki. Croatia, a recent addition to the Michelin, received a star for two restaurants: 360 in Dubrovnik and Pelegrini in Sibenik.

As well as Michelin stars, the Bib Gourmand is also very popular. In total 59 Bib Gourmand have been added to the Michelin guide Main Cities of Europe 2018, bringing the total to 295.

Special awards

For the occasion Michelin introduced to very special awards – one for the young chef of the year and the other for mentor of the year. Introducing the five nominees for the young chef of the year award, Ellis acknowledged the need to energise young people. “We want to encourage young people around the world to choose a career in the kitchen,” he said. “The mentor award is to recognise those professional chefs who help the younger entrants in the kitchen to become better and learn.”

Niall Keating from the Dining Room at Whatley Manor, UK, was the judges’ choice to take the award for best young chef. The 26-year-old was awarded a star in the UK & Ireland Michelin Guide 2018 and was praised here in Budapest.

“Young, particularly talented and promising, we felt Niall Keating was a very good choice,” said Ellis. “His personality and already very rich and varied experience both in Great Britain and internationally won us over.”

The European chef mentor award saw nominees from five countries vying for the honour; ultimately won by Christian Constant of Le Violon d’Ingres in Paris, which has one star in the Michelin Guide France. “A charismatic chef with a brilliant career, Christian Constant enthusiastically passes on his know-how and love of beautiful produce, training and has inspired a whole generation of chefs that now head their own teams. His passion, generosity, and openness are qualities worthy of our admiration,” said Ellis.

Constant put his success down to “rigour, hard work, devotion and passion. As chefs we have to give and receive; I like to pass on knowledge and to be a part of a team,” he said.

Published in English, the Michelin Guide Main Cities of Europe is aimed primarily at business travellers who regularly journey throughout Europe, but it is also ideal for leisure guests wishing to discover Europe’s most romantic and culturally stimulating cities. It will be available to buy from 16 April 2018.

Tina Nielsen