Something new from the Michelin men?

The much-anticipated annual presentation of the new Michelin Guide for Spain and Portugal will be held in Santiago de Compostela, Northern Spain on November 25.

This year many of us who are close to the gastronomic scene here in Portugal are hoping that our version of the guide will finally do justice to the great name and tradition that it represents.

Anyone who read my article last year after the publication of the 2015 guide may have found my comments a little harsh when I labelled the guide as an insult to the gastronomy of this country and especially to the Algarve. But the fact is that most of the Algarve’s best restaurants (Michelin-starred establishments aside) were not even listed.

It was and has been for as long as I can remember a very poor excuse for a supposed guide to the best places to eat in the region. But I know for a fact that my article reached the Michelin office in Madrid and what’s more, that I was not the only person to let them know that the time has come to take a totally fresh look at the Algarve.

I know that the restaurants I personally mentioned in my article were all visited by Michelin inspectors over the course of this year and that at least one of them has received an invitation to attend the ceremony on the 25th.

This invitation is, of course, no guarantee of a Michelin star, but it does mean that the restaurant in question, located in my hometown of Carvoeiro, is now considered by the Michelin inspectors as a contender. So for me it’s fingers crossed, not only that the restaurant in question earns the star it has been working so hard for, but also that many other restaurants that stand apart from the crowd and strive for real quality will at least be listed in the guide. Watch this space!

By PATRICK STUART [email protected]