Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck has retained its place as the UK's best restaurant in the Good Food Guide but other chefs including Simon Rogan, Sat Bains and Jason Atherton are starting to redefine ideas on what makes a great restaurant, according to the guide.
Blumenthal's three-Michelin-starred Fat Duck in Bray, Berkshire, has retained its perfect score of 10 out of 10 in the 2012 edition of the Good Food Guide, while a number of other establishments have scored an almost perfect nine out of 10.
They include Rogan's Michelin-starred L'Enclume in Cartmel, Cumbria, and Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham, which have ranked in second and third place of the guide's list of the Top 50 UK Restaurants respectively.
Elizabeth Carter, consultant editor of the Good Food Guide, commented: "Simon Rogan is all about pushing boundaries, changing perceptions and forging links between nature and the kitchen. His cooking is a revelation from start to finish."
Rogan said he was thrilled with the result. "This means so much me and the team - coming second in the country with a 9/10 score is unbelievable," he said.
Jason Atherton's Pollen Street Social in London has come in as the highest new entry in the top 10, landing in eighth place less than six months after opening. Carter described Atherton as a chef whose pace-setting invention was a triumph.
Meanwhile, celebrity chefs continue to be recognised in the Good Food Guide's top 10, with Gordon Ramsay's flagship in London's Chelsea ranking in fourth place, Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Oxfordshire in sixth place, and Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley in seventh place.
"The Good Food Guide 2012 showcases what has been a fascinating year for dining in the UK. The dining scene across the country is vibrant, with some supremely talented chefs serving innovative food which is winning our readers' hearts - there is much to be excited about," said Carter.
1 The Fat Duck, Bray, Berkshire (score 10; last year's ranking 1)
2 L'Enclume, Cartmel, Cumbria (score 9; last year's ranking 4)
3 Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham (score 9; last year's ranking 6)
4 Gordon Ramsay, Royal Hospital Road, London (score 9; last year's ranking 2)
5 Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Rock, Cornwall (score 8, last year's ranking 5)
6 Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Oxfordshire (score 8; last year's ranking 3)
7 Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley, London (score 8; last year's ranking 7)
8 Pollen Street Social, London (score 8; new entry)
9 Hibiscus, London (score 8; last year's ranking 11)
10 The Square, London (score 8; last year's ranking 10)
11 Le Champignon Sauvage, Gloucestershire (8)
12 Adam Simmonds at Danesfield House, Buckinghamshire (8)
13 Whatley Manor, The Dining Room, Wiltshire (8)
14 Le Gavroche, London (8)
15 Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, London (8)
16 Restaurant Martin Wishart, Edinburgh (8)
17 The Ledbury, London (8)
18 The Waterside Inn, Berkshire (7)
19 Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London (7)
20 Robert Thompson at the Hambrough, Isle of Wight (7)
21 Midsummer House, Cambridgeshire (7)
22 Murano, London (7)
23 John Campbell at Cowarth Park, Berkshire (7)
24 Fraiche, Merseyside (7)
25 Gidleigh Park, Devon (7)
26 Bohemia, Jersey (7)
27 Fischer's Baslow Hall, Derbyshire (7)
28 The Crown at Whitebrook, Gwent (7)
29 The Pass, West Sussex (7)
30 Michael Wignall, the Latymer at Pennyhill Park Hotel, Surrey (7)
31 Hambleton Hall, Rutland (7)
32 The Old Vicarage, Derbyshire (7)
33 Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles, Tayside (7)
34 Harry's Place, Lincolnshire (7)
35 The Kitchin, Edinburgh (6)
36 Tyddyn Llan, Denbighshire (6)
37 Artichoke, Buckinghamshire (6)
38 Purnell's, West Midlands (6)
39 Mr Underhill's, Shropshire (6)
40 The Hand & Flowers, Buckinghamshire (6)
41 Anthony's Restaurant, West Yorkshire (6)
42 The Greenhouse, London (6)
43 Simon Radley at the Chester Grosvenor, Cheshire (6)
44 The Sportsman, Kent (6)
45 The Creel, Orkney (6)
46 ramsons, Greater Manchester (6)
47 The Yorke Arms, Ramsgill, North Yorkshire (6)
48 Club Gascon, London (6)
49 Royal Oak, Paley Street, Berkshire (6)
50 Galvin La Chapelle, London (6)
By Kerstin Kühn
E-mail your comments to Kerstin Kühn here.
If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.caterersearch.com/tabletalk
Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Caterersearch.com jobs