A Devon restaurant run by television chef John Burton Race was named the best in England by the AA on Saturday.
It follows a Channel 4 series which traced the progress of the chef and his family as they took over the New Angel restaurant in Dartmouth.
Judges said they named The New Angel restaurant of the year in England because it serves fresh local produce at reasonable prices.
Mr Burton Race said it was like "winning the lottery".
"For me it is brilliant, a dream come true", he said.
"You win the award and then people take notice," he said. "It is a tremendous boost to the business and it is also a boost to the South West and in particular Dartmouth."
Burton Race re-launched the New Angel in May 2004.
Potential winners are nominated throughout the year after annual visits from the AA's team of full-time inspectors.
The AA's new pub, hotel, restaurant and bed and breakfast guide books will all be published on 15 September.