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Scots chef overtakes former mentor Rick Stein in top UK restaurants list

A Scots chef who puts his customers before Michelin stars has jumped 35 places in the 100 best UK restaurants list.

Roy Brett's Ondine is now the 24th best restaurant in the UK
Roy Brett's Ondine is now the 24th best restaurant in the UK

Roy Brett’s Ondine came 24th in the influential list, which was announced at the National Restaurant Awards in London.

Roy, who previously worked at Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant in Cornwall, opened Ondine in Edinburgh in 2009 and works with fishermen and scientists to ensure he only uses sustainable, high quality, seasonal seafood in his dishes.

The talented chef’s new ranking means he has now overtaken his former mentor, Rick Stein, whose Seafood Restaurant came 78th on the list.

Roy, who has over 27 years experience in the restaurant industry, said: “It’s very humbling. It’s wonderful for the restaurant and it’s good recognition for the chefs and the management team that have stood by me and bought into the philosophy that you can be recognised as one of the best restaurants in the UK without having a Michelin star.

“For us, it is all about the customer and providing the food and service that we hope will give them the evening that they deserve.

“It was fantastic to be above Ricky, it’s something I can rib him about the next time I see him, but I don’t really think about it like that. When we first started we were around 80th on the list and then we got into the 50s and now we’re down to 24th which shows progress. However, we’ve got to put it into perspective and make sure that we are getting better every year because it’s consistency that counts.”

Five other Scottish restaurants also made it in to the top 100 list, with Tom Kitchin’s Edinburgh eatery The Kitchin taking 8th place. Castle Terrace in Edinburgh was a new entry at 34, while Martin Wishart and Andrew Fairlie’s restaurants ranked 42nd and 60th respectively. The Three Chimneys in Skye came 94th.

Roy, from Edinburgh, now hopes that Ondine will continue to improve and move up the rankings again next year.

He said: “If this is a barometer of how well we are doing then I would love to think that if we can continue getting better then we have got a chance to get higher next year. However, there are so many good restaurants in the UK, who knows what will happen next year.

“This just shows that Scotland has got a lot of good restaurants and they are well represented in that list.”

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