The prestigious Michelin Guide awarded new Stars to Irish restaurants tonight in a virtual ceremony that reflected on the challenging times restaurants worldwide are currently in. 

The event, which was held over a virtual video link made available on the Michelin Guide UK Twitter feed, saw many of the top names in Irish food celebrated as the Guide announced stars for the UK and Ireland. 

Hosted by Davina McCall via YouTube, the event was watched by thousands, with many sending messages of celebration and support through the live chat.

The ceremony acknowledged that dining out in restaurants is currently not possible, but celebrated the restaurants many will no doubt be eager to visit once it is safe to do so. As for how the winners were chosen, the Guide published a statement saying that its research began in August 2019 and ran until March 2020. 

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Ahmet Dede of Dede in Baltimore Co. Cork was awarded a Michelin Star for his role as head chef. Dede accepted the win over video, visibly moved. "I'm just taking it all in now. Thank you so much, this means the world to me", chef Admet Dede said, wiping away tears. 

This is Dede's first Michelin Star and he joins a slew of impressive restaurants with one and two stars including two-star The Greenhouse in Dublin and one-star Ichigo Ichie in Cork.

Previously tipped to bring home an award tonight, Dede has stunned with his food in the Customs House spot. Formerly the head chef of 1-star Michelin Mews restaurant in West Cork, which is now closed, his current restaurant dishes up sophisticated dishes with Turkish influences. 

The Guide also announced the Michelin Green Stars, a new accolade for restaurants highlighting sustainability. Three Irish restaurants won the prestigious award, and incredibly all were based in Galway: Loam, Kai and Inis Meáin, Restaurant & Suites. 

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Galway has long been the centre of some of the most innovative and considered food in Ireland, with rich earth for crops, a thriving seafood industry and a bustling community of producers, so it's no wonder all our Green Star winners were based on the rugged West coast. 

The signs were all there, too. In 2019, Enda McEvoy of Loam in Galway won a Special Michelin Guide award for sustainability, shortly followed by Jurica Gojevic from Adare Manor, who won the new Michelin Guide Sommelier Award. 

Four Irish restaurants received the distinction of Bib Gourmand, another accolade from the Michelin Guide which celebrates restaurants that offer good quality and good value cooking for £30 (€34) or under for three courses.

Celebrated Blackrock spot Volpe Nera caught attention for their "carefully cooked dishes respect classic Mediterranean principles and have a modern edge" while Cork's Goldie, a "lively, on-trend seafood bistro" was praised for its gill-to-fin approach.

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Spitalfields, a "friendly, characterful, traditional-looking pub" in Dublin was noted for its elegant food, and Table Forty One in Gorey, Co. Wexford won praise for its cosy atmosphere and "classic, technically adept dishes with a great balance of texture and flavour". 

In an industry flush with award ceremonies and prizes, the Michelin Guide remains one of the benchmarks for excellence for many chefs. Irish Twitter was awash with updates from chefs and critics as they watched and cheered on their peers around the UK and Ireland.