If your post-lockdown weight loss isn’t going too well, spare a thought for the Michelin Man, he’s been on a 100 year diet. Having undergone several incarnations he’s now hit target weight, around half his original girth, a Ricky Gervais-like process that’s left the tyre icon, better known as Bibbendum, looking svelte and beach ready. But now we’re worried, his annual gorge-athon when he decides all the new Michelin Stars is about to be thrown into disarray and he’s back to grazing. They’ve decided to add restaurants monthly!

In one of the biggest shakeups in its history, the French vulcanised rubber company that for some reason is also given responsibility for assessing worldwide restaurant quality has not only embraced its new digital format, but has taken this to its logical conclusion and realised restaurants can be added on an ad hoc basis, rather all in one go.

The announcement (made last week but with the bank holiday and everything we decided to wait until now to tell you!) is a major change for an organisation not normally praised for its flexibility.

A major change for an organisation not normally praised for its flexibility...

And to prove it, it added London restaurants Sumi, from sushi chef Endo Kazutoshi), bakery and restaurant Big Jo, in Hornsey and Native at Brown’s in Mayfair – the fashion shop not the hotel, confusingly, to the guide.

According to the wonderfully named Michelin head honcho Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the guides, “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”

With the demise of the annual book, the Michelin folks have travelled the well-trodden path from print to online...

Continuing “Moreover, in a period that is still very complicated and in which the restaurant industry continues to face unprecedented challenges and uncertainties… 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.”

As, of course, do we.

The move is interesting. With the demise of the annual book, the Michelin folks have travelled the well-trodden path from print to online. And from paid to free. The Michelin guide is now a free app.

And apps need ‘content’ (must we call it this?), which will no doubt now give the organisation regular reason to send notifications to your phone.

Which will no doubt now give the organisation regular reason to send notifications to your phone...

Though it rather begs the question: why not dole out stars on the same basis? Given the rationale here is to help the hospitality industry, would it not be far more helpful to offer stars on the same ad hoc basis?

Perhaps the Bibs Gourmand, which tend to get lost in the fray of the glitzy stars, could at least be handed out throughout the year. Not only would it give Michelin more previous ‘content’ but it would also offer greater support to the industry given the far greater number of awards on offer compared to the one to three star levels.

It seems, on balance, the business being offered the most support here is Michelin...

It seems, on balance, the business being offered the most support here is Michelin. But hopefully the mentions will give the media something to chew over while we wait for the annual awards.

The proof, presumably will be in the pudding. In the meantime Bibendum better pack his napkin, it’s going to be a busy few months.

In the meantime, you can enjoy the hard earned and brand-newly minted inclusions at Native, Big Jo and Sumi.


Want to receive more great articles like this every day: sign up here