The location of the Michelin Guide ceremony is "not related to the new stars" set to be awarded, the international director of the guides has said.
The Midland hotel in Manchester hosted the Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2024 ceremony earlier this week (5 February), which had sparked speculation the city could be in the running for some long-awaited stars.
Chefs in Manchester pointed out that Adam Reid at the French, the flagship restaurant at the Midland, was "massively overdue" for star recognition.
No new stars were awarded to any restaurants in Manchester during this year's ceremony, though Higher Ground was recognised with a Bib Gourmand.
Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the Michelin Guides, told The Caterer: "[The location of the ceremony] is not related to the new stars. The point is that the Michelin Guide does not want to be anchored only in one city. We are doing the same everywhere in the world. For example, last year, the French release was in Strasbourg. This year it will be in Tours, Pays de la Loire. In Spain, it has been in Barcelona, Valencia and Sevillia.
"We are always on the move at the end of the day. The chefs all gather because it's a real family, wherever the Michelin Guide is hosting the celebration. It's also a way to put a spotlight on the geographic diversity of the cooking in all the countries, but that being said, of course, there are good restaurants to talk about in Manchester or around."
The anonymous chief inspector of the Michelin Guides added: "We were pleased to be able to host the event this year in a new city, in somewhere like Manchester, which is a really vibrant cultural city in the north of England.
"I hope that in future years we get the opportunity to move around the country and explore other cities, but if we focus in on Manchester, [it] has a great selection.
"We've been able to point out restaurants like Higher Ground this year with a Bib Gourmand. We've also got restaurants like the Spärrows and of course Mana, which has one Michelin star."