The Michelin guide, which revealed its newest list of starred restaurants in the U.K. and Ireland in January, has announced it will update its list of recommended establishments monthly.
The first three London additions, released 25 August, are Sumi, sushi master Endo Kazutoshi’s neighbourhood bar; Big Jo, the Hornsey bakery and restaurant from the Jolene team, and “wild food” group Native’s Mayfair opening at Brown’s.
The surprise announcement to media was made late on Tuesday evening, 24 August. It also states that the guide’s infamous, anonymous inspectors will “reveal new additions to the Guide throughout the year,” with additions being made and announced on the last Wednesday of every month.
The 2021 list, for the first time published digitally and not in print, was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced those on the list to close their dining rooms for the better part of the year. Facing an existential crisis of its own, Michelin promised to “support” the restaurant industry.
Though Michelin has been criticised over the years for being retrograde and resistant to change, few people would have expected a guide and a brand which relies on scarcity as much as it does exclusivity and ceremony to suddenly introduce a change so fundamental it threatens to undermine all three.
But Michelin seems to be trying to board the hype train, getting in on what’s new and what’s hot since the industry cares not just about what’s “best” but also what’s hot, what’s recently opened. Handily then and to ensure readers of the digital guide or users of the app understand Michelin to have its finger on the pulse, “the restaurant entries will be highlighted by a ‘New’ symbol, for easy identification, and the restaurants will also be presented in more depth in monthly articles,” it said.
The annual “star revelation” will remain, when some of those added to the general index throughout the year may pick up one of the more sought-after gongs, be it a Bib Gourmand — an accolade which is deemed by inspectors inferior to a star but which in London would point one in the direction of many excellent restaurants; one, two, or three stars — which denote “high quality cooking, worth a stop”; “excellent cooking, worth a detour”; or “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey,” respectively; or, a new introduction in 2021 to make out like the tyre manufacturer cares about the environment, a green star, which notionally recognises “sustainability.”
“By revealing some of the new additions made by our inspectors throughout the year, we further strengthen the ties that bind us to food lovers.” Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the guides, said in the statement.
“Moreover, in a period that is still very complicated and in which the restaurant industry continues to face unprecedented challenges and uncertainties,” Poullennec added “we hope that these regular revelations and updates will provide opportunities to highlight the profession, and we invite everyone to discover and support the restaurants around them.”
Check back tomorrow to find out if there are any new additions from London as well as reaction from the industry.