Updated: 21.08.2018 — with details of the venue and comments from Rebecca Burr, director of the Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland
Michelin, the restaurant industry’s most famous and recognisable index, has announced that its guide to the U.K. and Ireland for 2019 will be announced at a live event inside the BFI IMAX cinema in Waterloo, central London on Monday 1 October.
“Guests will receive true red-carpet treatment and become immersed in a multi-sensory experience as the theme of gastronomy and cinema is explored,” an announcement from the Red Guide press office stated this morning.
Per a tweet from Bloomberg’s Richard Vines, it is the third consecutive year that the tyre company-turned-restaurant authority has sought to avoid leaks and commercialise its release: In 2016, the launch took place at the Institute of Engineering and Technology in Savoy Place; last year, the brand took over the Brewery in the City on what has become one of the most important days in the industry calendar.
Rebecca Burr, director of the Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland, said that the selection is “set to be very strong this year — a real endorsement of the ever-evolving culinary scene of Great Britain and Ireland. We are very much looking forward to celebrating that in October.”
She added: “We’re proud of the Michelin guide’s rich heritage, but we are also proud that it is more relevant than ever. Our customers value our consistency, our expertise and our independence and it’s these qualities which have established the Michelin star as a global benchmark.”
The venue for this year’s event is expected to be announced next week. It will also be the brand’s first major event following the departure of Michelin’s international director of guides (and last year’s host) Michael Ellis.
The hard-copy printed guide, whose pre-release in the past been responsible for leaks, will be published in the U.K. on Friday 5 October.
Last year’s event, though in many ways predictable and insufficiently representative of the plurality and breadth of London’s restaurant industry, appeared to pass without incident. That was before it was discovered that the announcers neglected to make mention of one of the starred restaurants — The Square, which at the time was closed for refurbishment, and whose chef was not in the country.
In many corners of the industry it is a perennial hope that Michelin recognises not just the traditional exponents of fine-dining, but all forms of creativity. Not just the expensive, but the accessible. Not just men, but women, too. Shortcomings, which in fairness, are not unique to Michelin, but factors which necessarily inform its relevance.
Interrogation comes with the territory of occupying such a prestigious place in the eyes of all chefs and restaurateurs. As the industry once again looks on, this year will be no different.