Derby restaurant Zest gets top marks in hygiene inspection three months after getting one star
A RESTAURANT crowned as Derby's best has scored full marks in a hygiene re-inspection three months after been giving a rating of only one out of five.
The owners of Zest, in George Street, say they feel "fully vindicated".
The restaurant received the low rating in October last year after the premises was inspected 11 days before it was crowned Restaurant of the Year at the 2012 Derby Food and Drink Awards.
At the time, Zest's owners, brother and sister Stuart and Hayley Baddiley, said they were "hugely disappointed" and lodged an appeal.
Although the appeal failed, Derby City Council's hygiene inspectors agreed to rescore the premises once staff had been given enough time to implement recommendations in the inspector's report.
The re-inspection took place this month and resulted in the restaurant being awarded five out of five for hygiene.
Mr Baddiley, 32, said he was pleased – but not surprised.
He said: "We always felt the first score did not reflect the true picture but it was in our interests to try to co-operate with the council.
"The inspector had decided in October that we needed to replace our floor – despite being told during previous inspections that it was only optional – and that brought our hygiene score tumbling.
"We appealed and requested a rescore and, after significant investment into the new floor, as well as taking on board some of the council's more constructive recommendations, we're thrilled to have our five stars back at their recent spot inspection."
Ms Baddiley, 39, who has owned the restaurant with her brother since 2005, said she was pleased its reputation had been restored. She said: "This episode has served as a good prompt to ensure we keep on our toes.
"We had some amazing support from our loyal customers for which we're very thankful and we look forward to remaining at the top of our game, not just for our food and service, but also with the council.
"We're very proud to be part of the throng of successful independent restaurants and retailers in the city and so hope that we can move forward on a positive note to continued success in 2013."