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The Good Food Guide Awards 2018

Peter Sanchez-Iglesias, Chef of the Year, Casamia

 The Good Food Guide is delighted to recognise the following restaurants and chefs for their talent and commitment to excellence. 

 

Our Number 1 Restaurant 2018
Restaurant Nathan Outlaw
Cornwall

It may seem a little odd that Britain’s best restaurant is one of the most modest - with no car park, reception-desk or bar, it’s the antithesis of a grand restaurant. Yet it is, in fact, the whole package: from the cooking that seems like an essay on the sea’s varied yield, to the relaxed dining room and impeccable service. Nathan Outlaw has done an enormous amount to educate and encourage the public appetite for fish, driven by his supply of impeccably fine ingredients, and a special talent for creating unique and thrilling fish dishes.

 

Chef of the Year
Peter Sanchez-Iglesias
Casamia
Bristol

Peter Sanchez-Iglesias is no stranger to Good Food Guide awards. With his brother, Jonray, Peter picked up the joint Chef(s) of the Year award in 2015, winning the accolade shortly before Jonray’s tragic death at the age of 32. Now solo in the kitchen, Peter has emerged as a serious reputation maker in his own right – you could say against all odds – and the new look Casamia has won all our hearts. There is nothing complacent about this ultra smooth-running operation where care and attention to detail are second to none, from the thrilling food to the staff who look genuinely pleased to see you.

 


Chef to Watch
Ben Crittenden
Stark
Broadstairs, Kent

I’m sure many locals would like to keep this place under the radar, given that Stark is far and away one of the more unusual openings this year. But the secret is out – there’s something very special about this plain, 12-seater restaurant with a galley kitchen tucked in the corner. Ben Crittenden’s well-balanced, well-prepared six-course tasting menu with its penchant for simplicity and flavour and a keen eye for the seasons is extremely satisfying – some, including us, might call it dazzling.

 


Restaurant of the Year
The Three Chimneys
Isle of Skye, Scotland

It is superbly satisfying to come across a restaurant that knows just what it’s doing, without seeming to try. Chef Scott Davies is evangelistic about Skye’s culinary heritage and his menus are strongly rooted in the immediate area – most ingredients come from a 20-mile radius. This is where the Three Chimneys truly excels, and makes its mark: in the quality of those raw ingredients and in the rich depth of flavour that distinguishes every dish. This is memorable, engaging cooking served by a proud team.

 


Best Pub Restaurant
The Crown
Burchett’s Green, Berkshire

It may appear to be just a textbook country pub – pretty village location, log burner, plain tables, soft lamplight – but it’s got some fabulous dishes (including a magnificent venison pie) on short but appealing menus. It also has a genuinely lovely line in hospitality. As a recipe for success Simon Bonwick’s cooking is dead simple but consistently delicious with a focus on flavour rather than needless innovation or fiddly artistry.

 


Best New Entry
Salt
Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire

When we first came across Paul Foster’s cooking, we were so impressed we awarded him our Up-and-Coming Chef award for 2012. Now his first solo venture has beaten off some really stiff competition to win Best New Entry. Salt is a real passion project for this young chef. It was made possible by crowdfunding, with contributors paying as little as £20 to help kickstart the business. Lucky Stratford to finally have a destination restaurant that stands head and shoulders above the plethora of chains and pubs that form the bulk of the town’s restaurant offering.

 


Best Front-of-House
Restaurant Sat Bains
Nottinghamshire

Service with loads of personality is quite rare, so well done Restaurant Sat Bains for getting it just right. This is a restaurant that understands the word ‘hospitality’ , with front-of-house staff noted for being incredibly patient, engaged, informed, with nothing too much trouble. Every diner is made to feel like the most special person in the room and we love the way the maitre d’ gives the impression that he has all the time in the world to chat with everyone. Staff really get the fact that eating here, for many, is possibly a once in a lifetime experience, and see it as their duty to make the experience as special as possible.