Burr, who has edited the guide since 2012, told Pub Food that the 16 pubs named in this year’s guide were the ones that were strongest in the kitchen.
She said: “The pubs awarded stars all offer food on a consistent basis, with a concentration on flavour and quality of ingredients. There are fantastic chefs are rising to the fore, and a new generation is coming through.”
In a record year for pubs, new stars were awarded to the Treby Arms in Sparkwell, Devon, owned by former Masterchef winner Anton Piotrowski, and the Cross at Kenliworth, Warwickshire.
Meanwhile, Andrew Pern’s the Star Inn, in Harome, North Yorkshire, regained its star after losing one four years ago.
Tom Kerridge’s Hand & Flowers in Marlow, Buckinghamshire still has two stars. Twelve pubs have retained their one star.
Burr explained: “Every aspect of the eating-out experience is considered when we inspect pubs, but the focus is really on food, and that’s what we really look for.”
“Pubs have an added concern over restaurants in that they have to accommodate the regulars, as well as the destination diners. It’s tough to strike that balance, but the best pubs manage it.”
Burr praised the Star for retaining “a local feel” in the bar, while at the same time offering restaurant-standard food.
She said: “I’m delighted Andrew Pern has won his star back. Sometimes you can take your eye off the ball and get distracted with extra-curricular things, but I think he’s done superbly in refocusing the business.”
“Congratulations to Anton Piotrowski as well. The Treby Arms isn’t much to look at from the outside, but once you step inside it’s warm and welcoming, and the food is superb.
“What I think I like about Anton’s cooking is that he is adding his own quirky, unique touch.”
Despite his ongoing TV work, Burr praised Tom Kerridge for continuing to be a “proper chef” who has risen the standard for those around him.
“I think Tom is a chef who would pride himself on being in the kitchen 99% of the time, despite being quite widely seen in the media.
“Of course, it’s never always about the main person – it’s about the team. I think they are very loyal at the Hand & Flowers, and they share Tom's passion. He obviously looks after them, and that’s important.
“The fact that it’s a record year for pubs is a fantastic sign that the industry is entering a new phase.”