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Michelin Wants Your Instagram Photos for Its Next London Guide

Its cringe requests for media could be telling for this year’s stars and bib gourmands

Marcus Wareing and Sat Bains at Michelin Guide’s Michelin stars announcement — London restaurants find out 2019’s stars 1 October Michelin [Official Photo]

The Michelin Guide’s use of social media in support of its London Michelin stars and Bib Gourmands has been patchy in the U.K. at best, and lazily sexist at worst. Now — in a move already causing a stir in Los Angeles, where its California 2019 guide didn’t go down super well, it is crowdsourcing London’s diners for Instagram photos, and, possibly, dropping spoilers about its plans for 2020.

The calling card for this media strategy is the hashtag #yesmichelinguide, which is a call-and-response between the Michelin man’s official account and would-be providers of free content to an organisation that earns millions of dollars from expanding into as-yet-unstarred regions of the globe. Michelin asks for content; user responds #yesmichelinguide; transaction complete.

Some cursory clicking around reveals a few, nascent trends: fresh pasta restaurant Bancone is sought-after by the tire manufacturers, though this would seem more likely to be a Bib Gourmand candidate. So too, the Kitty Fisher’s sequel Cora Pearl. That’s the category which allows Michelin to expand its remit and appear inclusive, while also reinforcing its rigid assumptions around fine dining through that second-class inclusion.

Southwark’s zero-waste Native, Yotam Ottolenghi’s latest, Rovi, Robin and Sarah Gill’s The Dairy – which some commentators have long billed as overlooked — and already-starred Trinity, also in Clapham, have all been tagged. So too Brawn, already with a Bib off Columbia Road, Medlar, in Chelsea, The Pig and Butcher, in Islington, Moro, in Exmouth Market, and Bellanger, also in Islington.

More embarrassingly for Michelin, it has has also requested a photo taken at Nuala, the modern Irish restaurant which closed off Old Street a full four months ago.

It’s worth noting that there is another category, the Michelin Plate, which the guide describes as “simply a good meal” and is also in need of photographing. A good number of the restaurants tagged already qualify, and consequently, it’s hard to tell at this point whether the guide is inadvertently dropping spoilers for upgrades, or just content-farming in order to save money. Still, Bancone, Cora Pearl, and Native stand out as new developments, and the tag should be worth keeping an eye on as Michelin star season rolls around.

Nuala

70-74 City Road , , EC1 Visit Website

The Pig and Butcher

80 Liverpool Road, , England N1 0QD 020 7226 8304 Visit Website

The Dairy

15 The Pavement, , England SW4 0HY 020 7622 4165 Visit Website

Medlar

438 King's Road, , England SW10 0LJ 020 7349 1900 Visit Website

London

, , England Visit Website

ROVI

59 Wells Street, , England W1A 3AE 020 3963 8270 Visit Website

Brawn

49 Columbia Road, , England E2 7RG 020 7729 5692 Visit Website

Cora Pearl

30 Henrietta Street, , England WC2E 8NA 020 7324 7722 Visit Website

Bellanger

9 Islington Green, , England N1 2XH 020 7226 2555 Visit Website

Trinity

4 The Polygon, , England SW4 0JG 020 7622 1199 Visit Website

Moro

34-36 Exmouth Market, , England EC1R 4QE 020 7833 8336 Visit Website

Bancone

39 William IV Street, , England WC2N 4DD 020 7240 8786 Visit Website

Ottolenghi

287 Upper Street, , England N1 2TZ 020 7288 1454 Visit Website

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