We are not blind to the harrowing times we live in and are more than aware of the hardships being faced by so many. No one can deny that what the hospitality industry is suffering through is nothing less than tragic. It has been one of the industries most affected by the pandemic and the resulting lockdown restrictions. The number of businesses that haven’t survived and the high number of job losses is desperately sad.
At a time when restaurants and pubs are closed, why then would we be launching a guide and awarding Stars? The answer is simple: we want to promote the industry as much as we possibly can. We want to celebrate the many amazing restaurants in Great Britain & Ireland and all the hugely talented chefs and restaurateurs. We want to shine a light on our industry, to keep people talking about it in the media and remind everyone of what we have, and to bring news of our great restaurants to a global audience.
We were very heartened by the number of chefs who contacted us during the past year seeking assurance that we were still out there, updating our guide. They understood that the Michelin guide’s fundamental objective is to highlight the variety, the choice and quality of restaurants that are available and to encourage as many people as possible to eat out.
And it’s not just the restaurants themselves. By celebrating our wonderful industry we also recognise all those who depend upon it and are part of the supply chain, from bakers and butchers, to farmers and fishermen. During our launch we will be acknowledging the great work being done in sustainable gastronomy, as well as highlighting great service, recognising young talent and saluting those who mentor others.
We started work on this guide in August 2019, so much of our work had been done by the time of the first lockdown in March last year. Yes, there have been challenges but by delaying publication for an extra four months and making this guide digital only we were able to get everything done. Our readers can be assured that no shortcuts were taken – the methodology remained the same and there was no change in the standards we looked for. The integrity of the guide means everything to us – to have compromised it in any way would be unfair to our readers and disrespectful to the industry.
We all have memories of great meals, of favourite restaurants, of nights out with friends. Restaurants will not be closed forever and someday soon we will be able to start making plans. We will have birthdays and anniversaries to celebrate; family to meet; dates to go on – and for all these things and more we will choose restaurants. The world of hospitality is embedded in our culture and will soon be part of our everyday lives once again.
So do follow the guide launch on Monday 25th January. We will be announcing exciting new Michelin Stars, Bib Gourmands and Plates and we can’t wait for you to try them for yourselves one day soon.
The Michelin Guide launch is at 6pm on 25th Jan 2021