Amazon Messed Up Michelin’s Big DC Announcement

"We’ll certainly have a conversation with them."

The rollout of Michelin’s DC guide didn’t go exactly as planned today. Before the organization could make the official announcement, Washingtonian had already scooped the news thanks to an Amazon pre-order that shipped a little too early.

Jason Tilery, who works in health insurance, received a copy of the DC guide in the mail this morning and sent Washingtonian photos of the restaurant list. 

“We’ll have that conversation with Amazon,” says Michelin International Director Michael Ellis. “We try to make it a balance. We want to get the guides out as quickly as possible. If we don’t get the guides out there, like anything else, there’s a 24 hour news cycle. Fortunately, it wasn’t yesterday. We had a case when guides came out a few days before our official announcement. This wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t good. I was surprised, given the quality of Amazon.”

In fact, there have been several instances in which Michelin results have been leaked early. In 2010, Michelin moved up the release of its very first Chicago guide after someone posted the list of starred restaurants on Yelp. In 2012, the UK Michelin Guide was accidentally posted online a week too soon. And in 2013, a French magazine beat the French Michelin guide to the punch.

DC’s little red book was not supposed to be available until tomorrow, even though the announcement was planned for today. Upshur Street Books owner Paul Ruppert says he ordered 140 copies of the guide, but was told they were embargoed and wouldn’t ship from the warehouse until tonight. He expects to have copies in his Petworth store by 4 pm on Friday.


Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.