A Michelin star is the culinary goal for many chefs, and the achievement of one early in a cooking career propels a chef and their restaurant into a new, élite ‘club’. On 26 March 2018 in Budapest. Michelin hosted European Michelin Guide Star Dayto celebrate European gastronomy with many Michelin-starred chefs at the gala event, including Guy Savoy, Georges Blanc, Elena Arzak, Pascal Barbot, Raymond Blanc, and Quique Dacosta. Not only were the latest European selections for the European edition of the Guide announced, but two prestigious new prizes were presented – The Michelin Chef Mentor 2018 Award, for the involvement of a chef in training young talents, and The Michelin Young Chef 2018 Award.
Niall Keating, Executive Chef at Whatley Manor in the Cotswolds, has won The Michelin Young Chef 2018 Award. Niall achieved a first Michelin star in October 2017, aged just 26, and less than a year after joining the hotel. Five young chefs from key European markets who have recently achieved a Michelin star were selected for the shortlist of the Michelin Young Chef 2018 Award. The shortlisted chefs were selected after an assessment of their great culinary potential and their notable career progress to date.
Niall’s pedigree is impressive, with positions in several Michelin establishments in three countries – Sat Bains (two stars, near Nottingham), Benu (in San Francisco, with three stars), and Kong Hans Kælder (in Copenhagen, with one star). Along he way, Niall has developed his own distinctive cooking style, not fusion, but marrying different culinary influences from Asia and Europe. Precise, inventive, and delicious, Niall’s carefully crafted menu in The Dining Room at Whatley Manor is a true expression of his creative instincts.
Sue Williams, General Manager at Whatley Manor, who has known Niall since 2010 when he started his career as a Commis Chef at the Bath Priory Hotel, commented on the new accolade: “I feel immensely proud to be working alongside Niall and supporting him on his culinary journey. There was never a moment’s doubt in my mind that he is a top talent, oozing with original ideas. His focus is unwavering, and his comprehension of the sector in which he operates is impressive for his age. Knowing Niall as I do, he will accept this wonderful recognition with humility and will share the success with his team.”
Further praise and support is expressed by Christian Landholt, owner of Whatley Manor: “I am so excited for Niall to have won this award! Despite having been at Whatley Manor for only 14 months, I have quickly grown to admire not only his incredible talent and creativity as a chef, but also his work ethic and respect towards his colleagues. It is wonderful to have Niall as part of the team at Whatley. I now look forward to continue supporting him in his career and helping him achieve his further goals and ambitions.”