Coronavirus delays printing of 2021 Michelin Guide

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As elite chefs shoot for the Michelin stars, the coronavirus pandemic has unfortunately delayed the 2021 printed publication of the prestigious restaurant guide for only the second time in its history.

The COVID-19 crisis has upended the restaurant business around the globe, with fast-food to fine dining establishments alike forced to slash dine-in service or even shutter altogether. These restrictions have mostly eliminated the opportunity for Michelin Guide’s famously anonymous inspectors to sample cuisine while on the hunt for the world’s best cooking.

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Cook Lincoln Clevenson and sous chef Austin Ishibashi manage takeout orders at Claro on April 25, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Claro, a one-star restaurant in the Michelin Guide, is serving food as a take-out and delivery only amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cook Lincoln Clevenson and sous chef Austin Ishibashi manage takeout orders at Claro on April 25, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Claro, a one-star restaurant in the Michelin Guide, is serving food as a take-out and delivery only amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Gary He/Getty Images)

A spokesperson for Michelin told Big 7 Travel on Wednesday that while the printed publication of their esteemed restaurant critiques will be postponed for the time being, a digital edition is scheduled to be published on the original “exclusive revelation date,” which was not disclosed.

Produced by the French tire company of the same name, the Michelin Guide only stopped printing once before in its history during World War II, the outlet reported. The famous review rates over 30,000 establishments in more than 30 territories across three continents.

Looking ahead, the first stars are set to be awarded in the fall of 2020, though the Michelin spokesperson stayed mum on exactly how they would be announced, whether in-person or digitally.

“We would like to clarify that Michelin is not delaying or canceling any event at the moment,” the representative told Big 7 Travel of the matter.

Flyers with special instructions about the take-way meal and advice from Chef Jean Sulpice are displayed in the Auberge du Pere Bise shop on April 19 in Talloires, France. Two Michelin Star chef Chef Jean Sulpice and his team are producing take-away meals for clients due to restaurant closures during France's lockdown.

Flyers with special instructions about the take-way meal and advice from Chef Jean Sulpice are displayed in the Auberge du Pere Bise shop on April 19 in Talloires, France. Two Michelin Star chef Chef Jean Sulpice and his team are producing take-away meals for clients due to restaurant closures during France's lockdown. (Richard Bord/Getty Images)

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Hopeful restauranteurs, however, shouldn’t throw in the towel just yet, according to Gwendal Poullennec, the international director of the Michelin Guides.

“Wherever you are, whatever kind of restaurant you are running, with our local teams of inspectors we will work with you in any way we can to ensure that the situation gets back to normal as quickly, and as safely, as possible,” Poullennec said in an address to the restaurant community on how the pandemic has disrupted this year’s plans. “We know that this route back to recovery will be a gradual one. But please, rest assured that we will be here for you every step of the way.”

“Don’t worry, a Michelin Star, and all our award distinctions, will mean the same in 2021 as they always have,” he emphasized.

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In the meantime, foodies can think globally and act locally by helping their favorite restaurants during the outbreak in these ways.