The Good Food Guide facts for kids
The Good Food Guide was an annual guidebook to the best restaurants in the United Kingdom which was first published in 1951. It was published by Waitrose from August 2013 until the title was retired in 2021 It was previously published by Which?books.
The Good Food Guide was first published in 1951 by Raymond Postgate, an enthusiastic gourmand, who was appalled by the standard of contemporary catering. He recruited an army of volunteers to clandestinely visit and assess restaurants on the basis that, "You can corrupt one man. You can't bribe an army." Postgate had previously founded the Good Food Club in 1949. The Good Food Guide currently reports on over 1,200 top establishments and is unique as it is completely rewritten every year and is entirely independent — there is no advertising or sponsorship, no fees are accepted for inclusion, and all of the inspections are anonymous.
Readers are actively encouraged to submit their reviews, via the Good Food Guide website, which are then considered for prospective inclusion in next year's guide. Restaurants are scored out of ten.
An early contributor to the Guide, Margaret Costa later opened her own restaurant, Lacy's, in Mayfair. The Guide received so many reviews for Lacy's that the entry for the restaurant was divided into "Love Lacy's" and "Loathe Lacy's" columns.
In 2007 former Good Food Guide inspectors and editors criticised the Guide after a series of high-profile restaurant omissions, claiming that a new inspection and editorial regime had led to corners being cut after incorporating three hundred reader-recommended restaurants within its twelve hundred full entries.
Former inspector and editor, Jim Ainsworth, described the new regime as "penny-pinching" and said of the 2008 guide: "The word that occurs to me is careless. A lot of things simply appear to have been done in a rush." Among the omissions, a restaurant was omitted in the Scilly Isles despite being listed as a main entry on the guide's map of the island. Some restaurants were omitted after a lack of reader reviews.
The publishers of the Guide, Which?, strongly denied the allegations, conceding that some former inspectors had been "disgruntled" at the changes, but stressed that most of the inspection team was unchanged and there had been no reduction in standards.
2008 saw the publication of special London edition of the Guide. This followed Michelin who had published a dedicated London guide the previous year.
In the 2013 edition of the Guide, Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck and Simon Rogan's L'Enclume shared a perfect score of ten. A branch of Little Chef near Popham was included in the 2010 guide after a makeover by Heston Blumenthal as part of a Channel 4 programme.
In August 2013, the guide was purchased and published by Waitrose & Partners., The guide continued to be published annually, until May 2021 when Waitrose quietly announced that the guide would not be published this year (2021) and “there were no plans to publish future guides.” [reference The Observer 30/05/2021]
Every year the Guide presents its Editor's Awards in a selection of the following categories; Restaurant of the Year, Best New Entry, Chef of the Year, Chef to Watch, Best for Sustainability and Best Local Restaurant.
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