The Handbook
The Handbook

It’s the Oscars of food, the Baftas of restaurants and it’s the chef Grammies, and it’s incredibly exclusive. Given it’s almost impossible to get a table at some of the restaurants honoured at the annual awards (have you tried to book at the Fat Duck? Don’t even bother!) it’s unsurprising that the event these exclusive restaurants revere should have a seating policy that’s about as impossible to get as reserving an outside table at Hutong. Until now…

The French tyre company that somehow specialises in both vulcanised rubber and haute cuisine has traditionally kept the guest list for the Michelin awards under tight wraps, only letting in Gordon Ramsay grudgingly and very much keeping the polloi at bay (joke, the sweary chef was the guest of honour last year). So it was a surprise Twitter announcement when Michelin Guide UK told us all that we’re very much welcome to the next awards.

So what can we expect from the event? Last time round the awards were held was in the plush confines of the Hurlingham Club, a cosy affair where chefs, journalists and restauranteurs cosied up. But now it’s going to be a bit more rock’n’roll. Speaking to The Caterer magazine, Restaurant Association president Robert Walton said ‘Chefs are the rock stars of hospitality, so let’s make it a rock star event – super cool, modern and trendy, but relaxed’.

The event, basically the Brits but without Stormzy slagging off the Tories, promises to be one of the must-attend awards of the year, with not only the gliteratti of the restaurant world in attendance, but also, potentially, the folks who actually eat at these restaurants, the public.

It’s also an important step toward demystifying, if not democratising, the awards, making them more transparent and more inclusive as normal people hopefully get the chance to mingle with their culinary heroes. It’s the logical conclusion of a journey Michelin have been on, 2016 was the first year that the announcements were opened as a public event and they’ve also recently been streamed on Facebook. So inviting muggles along too makes a lot of sense.

We’ll be watching carefully and reporting back when tickets go on sale. See you there!

Basically the Brits but without Stormzy slagging off the Tories