Aurora wont be included when Michelin awards restaurant stars

After months of anticipation, the Michelin Guide will announce on Sept. 12 which Colorado restaurant or restaurants have received the state’s first-ever Michelin star.

But restaurants in Aurora, which has one of Colorado’s best and most diverse dining scenes, won’t be on the list, according to Michelin Guide spokesman Andrew Festa. That’s because the company that owns the guide has made it clear that its anonymous reviews have stuck only to Denver, Boulder, Aspen, Snowmass Village, Vail and Beaver Creek Resort.

That’s a state of affairs that has disappointed and irritated Caroline Glover, the owner and chef at Annette, which is located inside the Stanley Marketplace in Aurora. Glover won Best Chef in the Mountain Region by the James Beard Foundation at the prestigious James Beard Awards in 2022 and was one of The Denver Post’s top 10 picks as a Michelin star contender.

“I don’t think it’s a great representation of the state since Aurora is one of the most diverse food communities we have, and it’s a big loss for the city and restaurateurs here,” she said. “The original mission of the Michelin Guide was to draw people to cities and communities that you wouldn’t normally find on your own, which is Aurora in a nutshell.”

Not only that, but Annette, which serves scratch-to-table and wood-fired fare sourced locally and seasonally, is only “500 feet away from Denver’s border,” she pointed out.

An Instagram post on Annette’s page explained why consideration is important. “… Receiving awards, being included in lists and even being recommended by trusted publications brings so many benefits to a restaurant, its immediate supply chain and the other businesses in its community. We’re fortunate to know this firsthand,” it reads.

Visit Aurora, the city’s tourism office, declined a request for comment until after the inaugural Michelin Guide ceremony on Sept. 12.

The number of cities or regions covered by the Michelin Guide could eventually change, Festa said via email. “The coverage area often expands in future editions. … For example, the 2022 Michelin Guide California coverage area expanded to include Palm Springs for the first time.”

The Michelin Guide announced in June that Colorado would become just its sixth destination in the United States and the eighth in North America. The others are New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, California, Miami/Orlando/Tampa, Toronto and Vancouver.

In addition, the company behind the highly-respected guide said it would award a star or stars to at least one restaurant. That ceremony takes place on Sept. 12 when chefs from around the state will gather inside Denver’s Mission Ballroom. (The event isn’t open to the public.)

“I love being in Aurora, working with the city is incredible, and I want other restaurateurs to want to move out here and open other places as well,” Glover said. “I think people would be more into it if the Michelin Guide was here, so I hope this diverse demographic eventually gets the recognition it deserves.”

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