The annual Michelin ceremony for the 2024 UK and Ireland Guide took place in The Midland Hotel in Manchester on 5 February, and saw a plethora of the top chefs all gather together to find out if they’d gained another coveted Michelin Star.
What started in 1889 as a guide to promote road trips (and therefore tyres), the Michelin Guide has grown into a globally recognised benchmark of quality.
While there are no new Scottish One Stars in the 2024 Michelin Guide, The Glenturret Lalique restaurant gained a second star, bringing the total of Two Michelin Star restaurants in Scotland to two - The Glenturret Lalique and Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, which has held Two Stars since 2006.
A clearly delighted Mark Donald, head chef of The Glenturret Lalique said on the night of the award: "It's amazing. Really fantastic. It's a great personal and professional achievement. It's great for the team and it's great for Scotland, and it's great for whisky as well.
"It's new ground for whisky and spirits and gastronomy", referring to the fact that the restaurant is the only Two Michelin Star eatery located within a whisky distillery.
Stevie McLaughlin, head chef at Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, said of The Glenturret joining them in the Two Star ranks: “Another Two Michelin Star restaurant in Scotland is fabulous for Scotland.
"I am really pleased and very proud of Mark. Mark spent time in our kitchen - he’s another Andrew Fairlie alumni - and he’s shining and flying the Andrew Fairlie flag.
"I am thrilled to bits for Mark and I am really proud of what he’s done and what our restaurants continue to do.”
General manager of restaurant Andrew Fairlie, Dale Dewsbury added: “This is a fantastic year for Scotland, with The Glenturret Lalique also achieving two stars.
"Scotland is rich with outstanding produce, skill and talent, and fully deserves to be represented in the Michelin rankings. Huge congratulations to Mark and the team on a very well-deserved second Michelin star.
"We’re proud to have another two Michelin star restaurant on our doorstep, showcasing Perthshire as Scotland’s culinary capital, and even more proud that it’s one of our Restaurant Andrew Fairlie alumni bringing the second star to the area. Well done, Mark!”
Another Restaurant Andrew Fairlie chef, who is now head chef at the One Michelin Star restaurant Cail Bruich, Lorna McNee said: “I think it’s amazing. I worked with Mark a very long time ago, he’s a fantastic chef and I am so so proud of him and his team.
"It really is a huge step for another Two Michelin Star in Scotland. I hope it puts Scotland more on the map because, for me personally, Scottish produce is some of the best in the country and people need to be recognising that.”
Restaurants like Cail Bruich, Restaurant Andrew Fairlie and The Glenturret Lalique, can offer inspiration to young chefs, one of whom is Sam Yorke who made history when his Edinburgh restaurant Heron was awarded One Star in 2023, making him the youngest chef in Scottish history to receive the honour, as he was just 25.
He has since retained his star and of this he said: “It has been amazing to retain the Star. It has been quite a stressful and tough past year but it’s amazing. To me, it means more this time than being awarded it in the first place so I am really, really pleased.
"I almost felt a bit like an imposter the first time around so to have retained it, feels amazing. It’s great to see Glenturret Lalique gain two Stars.
"Unfortunately I’ve never eaten there myself but all I hear is amazing things, and we’re all using the same incredible Scottish produce. The food you get in Scotland speaks volumes for the quality of the produce.”
The stars represent a high quality of food and whether the restaurant is worth a journey.
According to Michelin, one star is reflective of a very good restaurant in its category.
Two stars show excellent cooking that’s worth a detour and three stars are awarded for exceptional cuisine that’s worth a special journey.