Being awarded any kind of Michelin accolade is a huge deal for any restaurant – and here in Chester, we are blessed to have such a diverse selection of very-deserving venues which have achieved the ultimate recognition. Let’s raise a glass to these fantastic local food heroes and heroines, whose unwavering passion and dedication have contributed massively to our city becoming one of the most recognised in the North for outstanding food and drink.
You could say that Nik Friar is a rising star, but I think his rise to Michelin excellence has been pretty meteoric. He was awarded his first Michelin recommendation just six short months after he opened his hugely celebrated, plant-based and fully-sustainable restaurant Hypha, and was awarded Michelin’s brand new and highly-coveted Green Star back in January of this year. Absolutely fantastic!
5 City Walls, Chester, 01244 312490, www.hypha.uk
Simon Radley at The Chester Grosvenor
We have to start off with the King of Chester Food himself, Simon Radley, who is not only a fabulous chef, but an absolute gentleman as well. I was honoured just a few years ago to be allowed into his kitchen to commis for him for a day, such an incredible experience that I will treasure for ever. Simon has retained his Michelin star this year, for the 30th year on the run. What an incredible achievement, and what a truly wonderful man. It is sad news however that Simon will be leaving
The Chester Grosvenor at the end of this year, and I can’t wait to see what he does next, as well as the exciting new dining experience to be unveiled by The Chester Grosvenor in the new year. Ray Booker, who has been Simon’s Head Chef for the past 18 years will continue to oversee the Michelin dining experience.
Eastgate Street, Chester 01244 324024, www.chestergrosvenor.com
Covino is a light and airy restaurant on Northgate Street serving the most delicious small plates, using the very best
local produce. Michelin says, ‘This small, intimate establishment with high level seating is more than just a wine bar. Charcuterie and small plates sit alongside some more substantial dishes on the appealing menu – and are a perfect
match for the organic and low-intervention wines’. I totally agree! Get yourselves booked in.
118 Northgate Street, 01244 347727, www.covino.co.uk
Da Noi was an instant hit in the city when they opened back in 2018. The star of this show is most definitely Chef Valentina Aviotti with her sublime authentic Italian cooking – she is hugely respected and revered here in Chester for her incredible commitment and passion for the industry. So it’s no surprise that Da Noi has retained its Michelin plate for 2021.
63 Bridge St, Chester, 01244 317793 www.danoichester.co.uk
Porta is a tapas and wine bar which was opened in 2012 by restaurateur brothers Ben & Joe Wright and is super-relaxed, informal and intimate. They take their inspiration from those beautiful little tapas bars of Barcelona and Madrid, where the atmosphere is always buzzing. These guys thoroughly deserve their Michelin status for serving truly delicious and authentic Spanish flavours with a wonderfully happy vibe, and it’s exciting times all-round as they are now set to take over their legendary sister-site Joseph Benjamin within their post-pandemic expansion plans.
140 Northgate Street, 01244 401178 www.portatapas.co.uk
I was so lucky to have interviewed Chef Mike Robinson on the day he opened his fabulous new restaurant ‘The Forge’ at Hotel Indigo, right next to the picturesque Grosvenor Park and just a few minutes walk from the city centre. He also served me his
signature dish, slow cooked shoulder of roe deer from
Bathurst Estate in the Cotswolds – with wood-fired beetroot, dirty mash, rainbow chard and deer gravy. It was a truly phenomenal dish and the very first to be served from his brand-new kitchen – what an honour! Just three short weeks from opening, Mike and his team were awarded their Michelin recommendation – a true testament to their unwavering commitment to delivering superb food sustainably, as well as true and authentic hospitality to every guest.
Grosvenor Park Rd, 01244 735765 www.theforgechester.com