Ronay's back with restaurant guide

18 October 2004
Ronay's back with restaurant guide

Egon Ronay's legendary restaurant guide will be back on the shelves next February after a seven-year absence.

Ronay: retains control of project
The outspoken restaurant critic has won sponsorship from the RAC, which will provide funding, promotional support and its name for the £14.99 publication - the Egon Ronay RAC Guide to Restaurants in the UK. Ronay has retained total control of the project. He has assembled a team of four full-time inspectors and one part-time inspector - all of whom worked with him 20 years ago - and will publish the guide himself. Ronay's guides are based on annual visits to each establishment listed. "There are very few restaurants you can rely on to keep up standards each year," he said. Inspections will continue to the end of the year, with Ronay taking on some visits himself. "The significance of the guide is that it reverses the trend of giving emphasis to matters other than food in restaurants," Ronay added. "The new guide's prime concern will be the quality of the cooking." A spokesman for the RAC, which also publishes a hotel guide, denied that this was a move to tackle the AA head-on. "It fits nicely with the RAC's capacity to offer advice on hotels, travel and motoring, and have its name synonymous with giving good advice," he added. Ronay published his first guide in 1957, but sold the publication in 1985 to the AA, which sold it on after three years. Unhappy with the way it was being run, Ronay won back the legal right to publish under his own name in 1998. Since then, he has run a website, written a guide to eating at British airports and helped improve the food at Welcome Break's motorway service areas. He will continue to work alongside JD Wetherspoon's inspectors to raise food standards at its pubs.
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