Michelin 2019 – Press reaction

The Michelin guide concludes yet another award season in 2018 for the culinary gifted.

Sadly, it will be commented on by those that think they know about such things, yet clearly, don’t. Having had experience in multiple Michelin starred kitchens & had had several frank conversations with their inspectors, I can say with conviction that I have more of a clue about it than the journalists whose livelihood depends on it.

So first up, The Guardian’s efforts, where they concentrate on Claire Smyth’s massive achievement of being a new entry at 2*. The piece is littered with factual inaccuracies, but the best is this one:

Guardian Michelin
Erm, no 4* restaurants in the UK, well that would be because it’s a 1-3 scale.

Then there is the go-to industry resource, who with new ownership & management seem quite happy to flush 130+yrs of history, pedigree and being the byword for quality hospitality journalism, down the toilet. The Caterer wrote:

Caterer Michelin

Michelin is notoriously tight-lipped when it comes to the criteria of stars, although their mantra has always been the same; it’s about the food only. A senior Michelin inspector once told me that they can only judge what is put infront of them, therefore menu format wouldn’t count. So yet again The Caterer tries to gain an inside edge but is so poorly thought through it just displays their naivety on the subject.

Then Evening Standard published their take on proceedings. I have to say this was a well thought out piece, listing every starred restaurant in the capital coupled with a link to a review, more often than not by the esteemed Fay Maschler: https://chef.lol/ESMichelin

Great British Chefs publish their post regarding the results, more statement of fact & offering very little opinion, but done in a great & aethestically pleasing fashion: https://chef.lol/GBCMichelin

Where as The Independant pointed out that Michelin were working with The World Avocado Organisation (who knew there was such a thing). Even offering (one assumes), Michelin endorsed culinary tips:

Indo MichelinConclusion

As much I’m glad that I’m away from the nonsense of the trinkets & awards, I can see the importance of them to some chefs.

They have a burning desire to be recognised for the 20hr days, the commitment & drive. But the harsh reality is this; when all is said & done they’ll mean very little in the grand scheme of things. You can’t take a Michelin star to the bank as a deposit for your new house or car, and when you reach the point when you reflect back on your life & realised how much you’ve missed you’ll realise there were more important things.

Effectively keep the trinkets & awards in context, look after your customers & they will look after you.


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