Michelin Guides' director steps down for luxury hotel role

By Sophie Witts

- Last updated on GMT

Michael Ellis in 2016 (centre in suit)
Michael Ellis in 2016 (centre in suit)
Michael Ellis, the international director of the Michelin Guides, is to step down after seven years in September.

He is leaving to take up the newly-created role of chief culinary officer at the luxury Jumeirah hotel group.

The Dubai-based company has tasked him with developing new restaurant concepts and bringing its existing sites up to “industry-leading levels”.

US-born Ellis launched six new local editions of the red book during his tenure at Michelin, expanding the group's reach to 30 countries since 2011.

Announcing his departure, Ellis said: “The inspectors are the beating heart of this strategic activity, their passion and their expertise are without question and I was very honored to be with them during these seven years. Long live the Michelin Guide!"

Jumeirah’s hotels and resorts are primarily based in Dubai and the UAE, which currently does not have its own edition of the Michelin Guide.

Ellis himself started the rumour mill that Dubai could be the first area of the Middle East to get its own guide in 2016.

Speaking at the Global Restaurant Investment Forum,​ he said it was “only a matter of time” before the red book launched in Dubai, which he dubbed “one of the most exciting and dynamic” restaurant destinations worldwide.   

Jumeirah group described Ellis’ appointment as a “step-change” in its F&B strategy that would “reinvigorate its gastronomic experiences”.

It is understood his successor at Michelin will be appointed soon.

Jumeirah also runs three London hotels and has a presence worldwide.

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