Singapore's 2020 Michelin Guide cancelled due to long period of closure of restaurants

Last year's event saw 44 eateries bagging Michelin stars. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - The Michelin Guide has cancelled its selection of star-studded restaurants for this year due to the long period of closure of restaurants in the country because of Covid-19.

In a statement sent to the media on Tuesday (Sept 29), it said that the inspection period has been extended as the guide's inspectors - who had visited restaurants before the Covid-19 pandemic - are returning to dine "with cautious pleasure".

One of the criteria for assessing restaurants is "consistency between visits". Inspectors were unable to evaluate this as restaurants were closed for about 11 weeks, and dining in was not allowed until June 19.

"Although we've been impressed to observe how the chefs and their teams were able to reinvent their activity and to develop takeaways or delivery concepts, our policy is to evaluate dining-in experiences," said the statement.

Other judging criteria include quality of the products, mastery of flavour and cooking techniques, and the personality of the chef in his or her cuisine.

It added: "Under no circumstances will there be any question of sanctioning an establishment in this particular economic and health climate and we will do everything possible in terms of human and technological engagement to highlight the dynamism of international culinary scenes, as we have been doing for over 120 years."

Once its inspectors have conducted sufficient checks on the restaurants, the guide will announce "in the upcoming months" its 2021 selection.

Singapore's Michelin Guide started in 2016 and has been an annual affair featuring a gala dinner and award ceremony.

Last year's event, held at Capella Singapore, saw 44 eateries bagging Michelin stars. French fine-dining restaurants Odette and Les Amis received the maximum of three Michelin stars each "for exceptional cuisine that is worth a special journey".

Not all editions of the Michelin Guide have been cancelled. Taiwan's 2020 guide was launched in August, while Guangzhou's was released 10 days ago.

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