Michelin, arguably the world’s most recognized restaurant guide, has indefinitely delayed the release of its annual San Francisco Bay Area and Wine Country edition as historic wildfires wreak havoc on Northern California. This is the first time that Michelin has postponed the release of one of its U.S. guides since it started publishing here in 2005. The starred selections were originally set to be unveiled tomorrow.
The publication of the physical guide, scheduled for Monday, will be delayed as well.
“We have followed the crisis unfolding in Napa, Sonoma and other counties near San Francisco with grave concern and heavy hearts,” a spokesperson for Michelin said in an emailed statement. “Recognizing the turmoil and tragedy of the fires that are still burning, we understand this is a time for grief and recovery, not celebration. We extend our condolences to all who have been affected.”
Firestorms raging through Napa, Mendocino, and Sonoma counties have destroyed at least 1,500 homes and businesses, including bars, restaurants, and wineries.
Twenty-one people have died and 560 have been reported missing, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Schools remain closed. Vineyard workers have been airlifted to safety. Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency, mobilizing the National Guard to assist in relief efforts. Approximately 20,000 people have evacuated their homes; thousands are in shelters, and over 170,000 acres across Northern California have been torched.
San Francisco restaurateurs are pitching in with the relief effort. Dominique Crenn gathered volunteers at her Petit Crenn restaurant yesterday morning to make sandwiches for the displaced, while The Alembic cocktail bar is accepting donations of food, clothing, blankets, and medical supplies, Eater SF reports.
Closer to the fire, Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma has been giving away free tap water, and McNear’s Saloon has been giving free meals to families impacted by the fire, per The Chronicle.
Michelin, accordingly, has made a donation to the American Red Cross “in honor of the restaurants, wineries and communities affected by the wildfires.”