Why I am a strong believer of Michelin

Posted: December 26, 2010 in michelin star restaurant
Tags: , , , , ,

In total honesty, I would not have cared much about those restaurant guides and writings.

They come with the natural limitations of all systems: humans are juding other humans works,
interests are constantly flowing in human minds, and the need for the system to not crash is in the minds
of all humans supporting it. A counter-system is always around, impatient to take over.
And when one system is overthrown by another one, it is always the same tape that
is rewinded: the newer heroes think they are going to re-invent the wheel only to replicate what their predecessors have done. Amen!

But we need guidance, we need somekind of lead. Therefore, the Michelin, Gault Millau and myriad of other
food evaluation systems, reports, etc.

I do not agree with all Michelin evaluations. So do I with any others too! And so do I expect from others too
(on my tastes and preferences)! And so do I on yours too (on your tastes and prefs)!
It is food, a purely subjective matter,  hence that is normal.

What I do NOT find normal though are those celebrity writers who are reviewing restaurants
where they are recognized and where they know well that they will indulge in a welcoming that only the few will
experience. Please, a bit of respect for us who work hard and would like to spend our hard earned money in something real!

And Michelin does it the real way: their inspectors are anonymous patrons, exactly like you and me.
Of course, if you are into the Anti-Michelin bashing matrix, you will naturally find all of this to be pure BS,
but your fury is nothing compared to the facts: the anonymous nature of Michelin evaluations
comes closer to what you and I will experience than what a celebrity food columnist will get to enjoy.

You might tell me that you do not agree with all Michelin evaluations. So do I. So some will with yours as they
will with mine. But again you should know better that no evaluation  on a subjective  matter as food will reach conscensus.
With that in mind, I prefer a system that at least does the basics right:
reviewing food as the most will get to experience it.

I sometimes read things like “”Michelin has deceived me…that restaurant does not deserve a 3 Michelin star”.
It is normal to not agree with Michelin evaluations. It happens to me, too. But I do not see why I would bash on
Michelin for something purely subjective as a dining experience. Because you relied on their guide? Oh well,
you’ll learn then: food is a subjective matter. Dining experience at a restaurant is subjective.
Even your own appreciation, no matter how convincing you feel, is subjective too.
Who are we to decide over the tastes and choices of others? Have you thought about this, to begin with?
If not, then you should!

Does the fact that I trust Michelin makes of me an opponent of Gault Millau and other restaurant
evaluation guides? Absolutely Not. Doing so would be absurd and not understanding the “subjective” nature of
food appreciation.

Are the criticisms about Michelin favoring the sumptuosity of the service and decor over food true?
I am not Michelin, you need to ask that to them directly, but then again if you happen to think so,
you certainly do not know what you are talking about: L’Astrance, l’Auberge du Vieux Puits, most of
the 3* Michelin Japanese ventures have nothing to do with the sumptuosity that those criticisms are referring to!

What about the criticism that Michelin hesitates to get rid of some Michelin stars?
If you think that a restaurant deserves less Michelin stars than what it is assigned with, good for you.
But have you thought about the possibility that others might think that you are wrong? You should seriously
consider that as well, then. I just can’t imagine a guide adjusting itself to the likings of each of us:
6,890,100,000 of people, last time I checked world’s population! Rfaol!

Lol, I know. I may have sounded like a Pro Michelin preacher. My apologizes if you have perceived it that way.
But seriously, the point here is to keep it real when it comes to food reviewing. You, I, Michelin or whoever else
have just subjective views to bring. If at least we can get those basic elements (avoid familiarity with
the restaurant world, avoid reporting things that do not represent the reality that most will experience,
not confusing food — a pure personal and simple act — with an excuse for celebritism) — we can control —  right,   then a long way would have been covered.

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