Deanes loses its Michelin star


The owner of Deanes restaurant in Belfast has blamed a disastrous flood last January for the loss of the Michelin star it held for 14 years.

The restaurant in Howard Street was not included in this year’s Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland 2011.

Chef Michael Deane, who has prided himself on retaining his Michelin star every year, said losing it did not come as a surprise given the start his flagship restaurant had last year.

A pipe burst upstairs in the restaurant at the end of the big freeze last January and a cascade of water ruined the downstairs area, forcing the restaurant to close for four months.

At the time, Mr Deane described the damage as being similar to what would have happened had the restaurant been fire-bombed.

Mr Deane, who attended the centenary Michelin Guide celebrations in London last night, was philosophical about the loss of the star.

He opened Deanes in Belfast in 1997. It won a star in its first year of operation and retained it until this 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 always suspected this year that it would be unlikely that we would retain our star,” he said.

“I have always held Michelin’s judgement in the highest regard and continue to do so. Now that we have re-established ourselves we will keep on doing what we do best, cooking great local produce served with excellence and who knows what next year will bring.”

There were no new Irish entries in the list, meaning that the six restaurants in the Republic with stars retain the accolades.

Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud in Dublin's Merrion Square remains Ireland’s only two-star restaurant.

Thornton’s, Chapter One, L’Ecrivain and Bon Appetit in Dublin and Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore, Co Waterford will also be pleased to retain theirs given the very difficult climate for high-end restaurants.

O’Dowd’s Seafood Bar and Restaurant in Roundstone, Co Galway, is the only new Irish entrant in the Le Bib Gourmet category, which recognises good food in value-for-money establishments.

There are a record 143 starred restaurants in the Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland 2011, up from 140 last year.