Northern Ireland's only Michelin-rated eatery loses star status
Published 19/01/2011 | 17:00
Northern Ireland has been left as the only part of the British Isles to have no restaurants with a prestigious Michelin star.
Deanes in Belfast was stripped off its star status by the prestigious food guide yesterday.
The eatery in Howard Street was not included in this year’s Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland 2011 — the first time in 14 years.
Chef Michael Deane said that while he was disappointed, he was not surprised given a disastrous start to last year when his flagship restaurant was forced to close due to a flood.
The loss of the Michelin star means that Northern Ireland is the only region within the British Isles not to be included in the guide.
The six restaurants in the Irish Republic with stars have retained the accolade.
The news is all the more disappointing for the local restaurant scene as a record 143 eateries were given stars this year, three up from last year.
On the loss of his Michelin star, Mr Deane said: “As a result of the disastrous flood we experienced during the severe weather in January last year, we were forced to close our premises in a period of time that would have been crucial for Michelin inspections.
“I have always warned that Michelin stars are not to be taken for granted, and so I suspected this year that it would be unlikely that we would retain our star.
“However, on a positive note, we have reopened with great enthusiasm and a sharp focus on providing the highest standards of food at real value for money.
“We have had one of our best business performances ever because our business has always been about giving customers the consistently high-quality product which they demand, expect and deserve, and nothing has changed in that respect.”
Deanes was opened in Belfast in 1997, winning a Michelin star in its first year of operation. It has retained the status until this year.
The Michelin Guide is considered the most coveted range of culinary awards.