Local restaurant that once received Michelin stars gutted by fire

LONDON – A British restaurant that received two Michelin stars has been gutted by fire early Friday.

Gethin Gregory’s flagship restaurant, Gavin Bryars in the London neighborhood of Chelsea, was declared closed by fire authorities because the building sustained heavy smoke damage, fire and rescue service officials said.

“Specialist equipment has been deployed to the scene and firefighters are in the midst of a fire investigation and remain at the scene,” the London Fire Brigade said in a statement.

Gibson Johns, owner of the building that once housed a Harry Potter theme park, said the cause of the fire was unclear.

About 100 firefighters used foam to knock down the flames that had consumed the dining room and a large kitchen area, the service said.

Gregory, a chef best known for his dishes featuring local ingredients such as farmed hens and fish from local waters, gained Michelin stars for both his restaurants at the start of the past decade.

The Gethin Gregory restaurant at the five-star Cotswolds Hotel in Glastonbury received a Michelin star for its Michelin Bib Gourmand award in 2007 and in 2008.

Gavin Bryars, the restaurant’s restaurant in Chelsea, also received a Michelin star for its Michelin Bib Gourmand award in 2010 and 2011.

Gibson Johns, of the property company Ownerland Group, said early Friday that he was hoping to reopen as soon as possible.

“We are all very upset. We will be doing everything possible to re-open soon,” Johns said in a statement.

Local fire service spokesman Simon Morris said firefighters were at the scene around 1:30 a.m. and were still in the process of putting out the fire.

“The fire crews have been on there for around an hour, and put it out this morning,” Morris said.

A spokesman for Michelin France said Friday he could not provide details on who awarded the restaurant stars in 2009 or 2010.

Gregory is the son of chef Edwin Gregory. He previously served as a pastry chef for the Knightsbridge-based Gourmet and the Taverns.

The kitchens of his restaurants are managed by a partnership involving Asif Ekaiz and Aida Il-Sidi.

He has also started a tour company. For prices starting at £165 ($208), a group of eight people can enjoy a three-day gastronomic experience that includes a meal for the night, wine from Robert Buelteman and luxury coaches and chauffeurs.

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