Michelin has brought forward the publication of its 2012 guide to Great Britain & Ireland, which will be released on 6 October this year, it has been confirmed.
Traditionally published in late January, this year the guide will go to press three months earlier than usual, a move likely to affect the rating of some of the more recent restaurant openings.
A spokesman for the company told TheCaterer.com it was a decision made by Michelin's head office in France to bring the UK edition in line with the other European guides.
"All the other guides, except for France, are published between October and December and Michelin has made the decision to bring forward the publication of the Great Britain & Ireland guide for business reasons," he said.
Michelin has also changed the release date of its 2012 Eating Out in Pubs guide, which has been pushed back from September to 3 November. The publication of the French and Main Cities of Europe guides are unaffected and will be released on 1 and 15 March respectively.
Mark Greenaway, head chef and co-owner of Restaurant Mark Greenaway at Hawke & Hunter in Edinburgh, which opened in February, said the change in publication date of the UK guide would have a "massive impact" on newly opened establishments. "This gives new restaurants such as ourselves much less time to prove themselves and to get the consistency Michelin looks for," he said. "This could mean that the next guide will omit a lot of places and that we'll have to wait another year for there to be big any surprises."
Meanwhile David Moore, owner of the multi-Michelin-starred London restaurants Pied à Terre and L'Autre Pied, welcomed Michelin's decision to publish the guide early. "Most of the restaurant guides are published around September time, including the AA Restaurant Guide, the Good Food Guide, Harden's and Zagat. It puts Michelin in line with the other publications and presents a consolidation of the guide season, which is quite nice," he said.
Moore's restaurants this month saw a staff reshuffle, with Shane Osborn, head chef and co-owner at the two-Michelin-starred Pied à Terre, departing and being replaced by Marcus Eaves, head chef at the Michelin-starred L'Autre Pied. "The earlier publication of the guide means that we will have less time to prove ourselves but I hope that Michelin will look at us right up until the last minute," added Moore.
Sat Bains, chef-proprietor of his eponymous Michelin-starred restaurant on the outskirts of Nottingham, said: "It's strange that they never mentioned it at the [100th] birthday do in January, but I'm very interested to see it as it will be the first one by the new editor [Rebecca Burr]. I think it's good as it's unexpected and it'll keep everyone on their toes."
By Kerstin Kühn
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Published by: The Caterer