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Michelin Stars


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If such an effect exists I don't know if it's fair to blame Michelin exactly, but to be honest, I don't even agree with the basic premise.

I've been to plenty of one stars in various countries, and they're a pretty diverse bunch. I know there's a certain fashion at the moment for smears, dabs and nibbles, but so what? That's fashion, and fashion changes. It may not be to your taste, but the idea that this is somehow "ruining good food" seems misplaced. It seems clear to me that "good food" is available in lots of locations, and if your taste is to 3 courses of substance rather than 10 courses of fripperies, well there are plenty of places that cater to that requirement. Their recognition or otherwise by Michelin is hardly the point, plenty of chefs aren't interested in Michelin stars and are happy to just get on with it.

For the most part, I feel that 1 stars are nearly always good, sometimes fantastic, very occasionally disappointing. However, when I'm disappointed, it's often a question of expectation or taste rather than quality. If anything, I've been more disappointed with 3 stars rather than singles, although admittedly I haven't been to many. Certainly, I prefer to be wowed by something I could never conceive nor achieve myself, rather than perfectly roasted lamb, but I'll cheerfully accept that people are different and have different tastes.

Of course, the scientist in me simply won't accept a thesis like this based on such limited evidence. You're just going to have to eat in far more 3-stars to prove your point. :-)

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I can't help but feel your gripes are not so much with Michelin but trends in cooking in general?

There are a fair few 1* places in the UK which leave out the "fripperies". Michelin might not be very consistent (the fact that noma is a 2* says a lot about that) but I don't think it's fair to say that they are responsible for ruining food. I'll stop going on though because I think Simon S has basically covered everything I was going to say, and I've only just read his reply.

Ps Hi Marcus - long time no see, going to Sat's on friday :)

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How ironic that many criticisms of Michelin in recent years have been directed at the fact that they keep awarding stars to restaurants who are living on past glories.

It seems that this is the type of food that you prefer.

And there is nothing wrong with this.

But please don't try to tell others who are not afraid of change that being locked in past glory is the only way of doing things.

I can cook your favourite dishes easily at home (no, really). Why should I pay astronomically high prices to eat what is easily available? I'm always in search of new eating experiences and, to tell you the truth, many of these involve "cheaper" cuts of meat such as offal that require extremely high skill to bring out their best. Sometimes this involves sous vide cooking, which incidentally is an extension of and logical successor to the low and slow cooking you applied to your hams.

Talented chefs use processes that are available to them to bring out the best in the ingredients. They will add texture and contrasting flavours through accompaniments and sauces, and they will not achieve stars if they are not accomplished at doing so.

To use an analogy, you sound a bit like someone criticising the "modern art" movement because it doesn't use classical approaches. Look at some of Picasso's early work and you will see a mastery of the traditional before he broke new ground. Please give the chefs some credit for having been there and done that before moving on -- even if you don't like the change.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Your analogy with Picasso was a brilliant one Nick. Yes he was a great artist when he was first recognised then, after he became famous, he realised he could get away with any old rubbish as no one would dare criticise someone who, up to that time had been acknowledged as a master. A classic case of the ‘king hath no clothes’.

I offer a photo of how Marco Pierre White’s chefs treat a piece of prime venison.

New Picture (120).png

I agree culinary skills always need to move on with the use of different techniques, flavour combinations etc. I do it myself but I make sure the dish is perfected before it is presented at table and that the flavours are cohesive. But to be fair I learnt one thing that day - manchego is a good accompaniment for foie gras, I will try it sometime - it could even be interesting with a duck or chicken liver parfait.

Pam Brunning Editor Food & Wine, the Journal of the European & African Region of the International Wine & Food Society

My link

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Your analogy with Picasso was a brilliant one Nick. Yes he was a great artist when he was first recognised then, after he became famous, he realised he could get away with any old rubbish as no one would dare criticise someone who, up to that time had been acknowledged as a master. A classic case of the ‘king hath no clothes’.

I offer a photo of how Marco Pierre White’s chefs treat a piece of prime venison.

New Picture (120).png

I agree culinary skills always need to move on with the use of different techniques, flavour combinations etc. I do it myself but I make sure the dish is perfected before it is presented at table and that the flavours are cohesive. But to be fair I learnt one thing that day - manchego is a good accompaniment for foie gras, I will try it sometime - it could even be interesting with a duck or chicken liver parfait.

I am really unsure what point you are making. Your assessment of the Picasso analogy seems to be more akin to the Waterside Inn than anything else.

Also what was your purpose in offering a photo of how MPW's "chefs" treat a piece of prime venison?? What is special about it? What are you trying to show? Again it is meat and a few veg.

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