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Michelin 2014 guide awards star to first Peruvian restaurant

Michelin's 2014 guide for UK & Ireland rewarded Peruvian restaurant Lima, as well as Heston Blumenthal, but Joel Robuchon was not so lucky.

(L-R: Lima founding partners Gabriel Gonzalez, executive chef Virgilio Martinez and Jose Luis)

London restaurant Lima has become the first Peruvian restaurant to gain a Michelin star, in a new set of ratings that has also seen Heston Blumenthal collect his sixth star.

Lima, which featured in Decanter Magazine’s South America-focused October issue, was among 15 restaurants picking up their first star in the Michelin Great Britain and Ireland Guide 2014.

‘It’s amazing, and also unexpected, because we only opened recently,’ Lima’s MD, Gabriel Gonzalez, told decanter.com.

‘South American food is becoming more and more popular, and Peru is leading the way,’ he added.

However, when it comes to wine, Gonzalez is not so partisan. Wines from South America constitute a maximum of 30% of those on Lima’s list, sitting alongside classic European regions, as well as Australia and New Zealand.

Other restaurants picking up their first star included Thomas Sellers’ Story, Nathan Outlaw’s namesake restaurant at the Capital Hotel and seafood restaurant Angler, where Tony Fleming is executive chef. Outside of London, there was also a first star for Wilks Restaurant in Bristol, described by judges as an ‘unpretentious neighbourhood restaurant’.

Elsewhere in the guide, Heston Blumenthal picked up a second star, and his sixth overall, for Dinner in central London. ‘As a Brit, I am very proud that a restaurant inspired by and celebrating historic British cooking has been recognised,’ he said.

However, others were not so lucky. A spokesperson for Petersham Nurseries Cafe said it was ‘no surprise’ after the group lost its only star. ‘This year they have completely changed the culinary team and so it is only natural that the ‘clock’ is reset,’ she said. The group has installed 25-year-old Cat Ashton to her first head chef position.

Judges also stripped London’s L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon of its second star, albeit leaving Robuchon with more than 20 stars to his name globally, easily making him Michelin’s most decorated chef.

Written by Chris Mercer

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