Kenny Atkinson

Michelin-starred chef talks microbreweries, Michelin stars and how Tyne and Wear is firmly on the foodie map…

When you think of Michelin-acclaimed regions, Tyne & Wear is probably not the first to spring to mind. On the whole it has lagged behind the rest of the country in terms of chasing the Michelin Milky Way, but that’s not to say that you’d struggle to find somewhere to dine. On the contrary, it’s arguably that restaurateurs and diners here have been so heavily focused on the diner experience they simply haven’t been chasing stars. However, recent years has seen Tyne & Wear making headlines and, yes, the twinkle of Michelin stars are shining in some of these chefs’ eyes.

House of Tides, The Raby Hunt and The Man Behind the Curtain are all Michelin adorned and there’s a veritable garland of AA rosettes to be found all across the region. One of the chefs leading the way is renowned chef Kenny Atkinson, at House of Tides, who worked his socks off to get Newcastle’s first Michelin star for 18 years. We picked his brains on this unsung foodie region of our fair Isle, and what makes it so special to him.

“The Tyne and Wear region has something for everyone, from the hustle and bustle of Newcastle city centre to the beautiful coastline and stunning countryside our county has to offer. Tyne and Wear is surely one of the most exciting regions within the British Isles.

House of tides

“Over the past few years we have seen a great many cafés, gastropubs and restaurants opening throughout the area, offering a diverse range of cuisine to suit all tastes and budgets. We are proud of our local tearooms, famed for creating beautiful homemade cakes, and of our thirst-quenching North East microbreweries like Coxhoe’s Sonnet 43. There are impressive new ventures popping up all the time, such as Terry Laybourne’s new Japanese venture Ko Sai, while old favourites like The Staith House continue to win national awards; and then there’s our very own Michelin-starred House of Tides.

“We hold a Michelin star, the first to be awarded to a Newcastle restaurant in over 18 years, which just highlights the fact that the dining scene is heading in the right direction – one that’s innovative and without limitations. Even throughout the challenging economic problems the restaurant industry has faced over the last few years, not to mention the terrible weather that our producers have had to deal with, our region has been tenacious and shown resilience in the face of adversity. In my opinion, we have won the battle and our Tyne and Wear restaurateurs, chefs, producers and bakers have emerged even stronger than ever. We are passionate about and proud of our county, our food and our friendly service, so all that remains is to wish everyone another successful year and to encourage all you food-lovers to take full advantage of the fantastic array of dining options available on your doorstep.”

Given you a taste for more? Keep reading…

Where’s fine to dine to Tyne
Our Louise finds out what it’s like to be a chef at a House of Tides
Clare Jenkins uncovers a few historic dining experiences

Find more delicious places to dine in Tyne in our Tyne & Wear Food & Drink Guide.

Emma Cullen

Emma Cullen

Emma is an ex-Fed Up & Drunker that has been released into the wild

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