Michelin really, really, really wants London to care
London and the U.K. and Ireland’s Michelin stars for 2021 — and all their attendant bells, whistles, and thoroughly bizarre ceremonial unveiling — will be open to the public in a new version of the annual event. On 19 October at Camden’s Roundhouse, members of the public will be able to graduate from expressing support, dismay, and distress in the comments on a Facebook livestream to expressing support, dismay, and distress in person. It has also announced a separate event for its Bib Gourmands, the “thanks for playing” restaurant award that inadvertently advertises its creator’s structural blindspots.
This move — combined with the guide’s recent crowdsourcing of photos on Instagram — is plainly a relevance play, but also a manifestation of one of Michelin’s central tensions: it wants to be a restaurant authority, but is reluctant to actually elucidate its criteria beyond the star definitions from its inception; the ones predicated on getting people to drive more and thus need to buy more tyres. Its mythos is part of its power. Now, as it attempts to add sustainability to its credo while still selling tyres and offers furtive peeks behind the vulcanised rubber curtain, will this mean that this year’s Michelin revelation is ... less weird? Clearer? More trenchantly justified? Wait and see. Eater has asked the Michelin Guide to confirm whether the event is free with a ballot, or whether people will have to pay for the privilege. Imagine the goodie bags!
And in other news...
- Beige food master and River Cafe and Rochelle Canteen alumna Anna Tobias will open a new, very exciting restaurant and wine bar with essential London restaurant 40 Maltby Street. Cafe Deco, on Bloomsbury’s Store Street, looks set to be one of 2020’s standouts, if its owners’ pedigrees hold true.
- The E.U. has told Boris Johnson that he can’t do his chlorinated chicken contract with Donald Trump.
- Chancellor Rishi Sunak put Yorkshire Tea in hot water by putting Yorkshire Tea in hot water.
- Why is the BBC filming another cooking competition in Tulum, Mexico? Masterchef just came back! [Big Hospitality]
- Revered Highgate pub The Bull and Last is reopening later this month, so Sunday roasts will be back on the map and Taylor Swift can reintroduce it to her London restaurant crawl. [Hot Dinners]
- Good tweet:
Pay me to fight Saltbae. Not for charity. All proceeds go to the winner.— Mangal 2 Restaurant (@Mangal2) February 25, 2020