Top culinary award is greeted with delight in the region – and is the only one to be held by a restaurant in the city
Newcastle chef Kenny Atkinson has won a Michelin Star for The House of Tides.
The rocketing talent, a familiar face on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen, has been awarded the accolade less than 18 months after opening his upmarket quayside eatery.
It’s a remarkably short time to impress the culinary giants but the 37-year-old has managed it with his first restaurant.
And it is the first star for a Newcastle restaurant since Terry Laybourne’s 21 Queen Street in 2000.
Darlington’s Raby Hunt also retains its star in the latest guide.
When he opened House of Tides in his home city in January 2014, Kenny was conscious of the weight of expectation on his shoulders.
He already had a Michelin star reputation, having earned one while working at Tean Restaurant on the Scilly Isles then another at Seaham Hall.
The father-of-two said then: “The expectation is horrendous!”
“I have to get ready for that and prepared for that. There’s a lot of hype.”
He said of his star hopes: “If it comes, it comes. We’re not killing ourselves to get one.”
But, with a menu he described as “more casual fine dining”, he didn’t disappoint and his Quayside restaurant, marking his shift from chef to restaurateur, has won rave reviews.
And praise and congratulations have been pouring in on social media for the chef who started out working on a fruit and vegetable stall in the Grainger Market 20 years ago.
He encourages young talent in his kitchen and said: “I started off as YTS at £35 a week and it’s done me good.”