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Allegrini 2018
FOOD AND WINE CRITIC

Guides to restaurants in the pandemic: on November 25th, however, the Michelin

L’Espresso postpones the issue to March-April 2021. On November 24 it is the turn of Gambero Rosso. In Italy only 29% of starred restaurants are open
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The first edition of the Michelin Guide, 1900, in France

The world goes on, even in Covid’s time. In all its facets, including that of food and wine critic. And if for wine, which in any case, despite many difficulties, it was possible to taste, the picture is almost complete (the only thing missing is the release of Bibenda 2021 by the Italian Sommelier Foundation, which should arrive in the next few days), next week it will be the turn of those restaurants that have decided to come out: the most awaited, famous, coveted and feared remains the Michelin Guide, whose presentation is currently confirmed on November 25 from Milan, but obviously online, in a very difficult scenario.
Currently, as reported by the Michelin Observatory on the opening of starred restaurants following the anti-Covid measures, 29% of the starred restaurants remained open in the week between November 9 and 15. Given more or less in line with the world (36% of openings), with Europe divided in two (practically all those in Northern Europe, where 9% of the starred restaurants are open, compared to 32% in Southern Europe), the Americas on average (39% of openings), and an Asia substantially in the norm, with 96% of starred restaurants open.
In any case, on November 25th, from 11 a.m., there will be news, confirmations, ascents and falls, if there will be, given the objective and imaginable difficulty of the work of the Michelin inspectors in their inspections (so much so that, on the portal of the Guide, for some time, are also reported the premises that make take-away and home delivery, at least of the most important cities).
The plot of the presentation will be the traditional one, with a presentation that, however, play strength, will be made of less nuances and technicalities. On stage there will be only the director of communication of the Michelin Guide Italy Marco Do, who will alternate live and recorded contributions, including that of Gwendal Poullennec, international director of Michelin guides.
New for Italy in 2020 (but already seen in other foreign editions, ed.) the awarding of the “green star”, conferred in a separate path and independently from the “classic” stars, to those chefs who have distinguished themselves on the theme of sustainability not only from an environmental point of view, but also from the point of view of social commitment, training, support to local producers and sustainability itself of quality raw materials. The printed guide, again, will be in bookstores from November 26, while already from the afternoon of November 25, it will be possible to download the digital version.
The release of Michelin, however, will be anticipated on November 24th by that of the guide Restaurants of Italy 2021 by Gambero Rosso, which “will come out despite everything”, it can be read on the website of Gambero Rosso, which, until November 23rd (day of the presentation via web, live Facebook and various social media, from 11.30 am), will stage the project “Preview Guide Restaurants 2021”, with ad hoc recipes proposed by partner restaurants, to try in the same restaurants, where possible, or through take-away and delivery. “This year the work has required more attention and flexibility, and will also reward the efforts of those who have been able to resist - explains Gambero Rosso - inventing alternative services to stay close to their customers, food delivery in primis”.
Who, instead, has decided to postpone everything, probably between March/April 2021, is the guide “Restaurants and Wines of Italy” of L’Espresso, led by Enzo Vizzari, who, to WineNews, recently explained: “it is a hypothesis we are working on. I think we can reasonably think of such a date considering that we could continue the visits at least at the end of February, I can only hope that by the end of the year we will arrive at a semblance of normality. I respect everyone’s choices, but in all honesty I can’t understand how you can go out with guides who are really based on visiting restaurants now. The restaurants have either been or are closed, and in any case those few who have been able to work have done so at “ultra narrow gauge”. To go out without judging would make no sense to me, to go out with reviews that are not reviews, but that are almost forms of recognition, of encouragement, it would make the very function of the guide disappear. Worse still, to go out claiming that visits have been made, however, at a time like the one we have lived and are living. I respect the choices made by others, but I didn’t feel like going out now in these conditions, and the publisher has an important cost”.

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