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Longridge yo-yos down again. (deserved? undeserved?)

Paul Heathcote must be right f*cked off...

As Heathcote is planning three or four openings of his 'Olive Press' concept (a down-market chain Italian) in the next six months, I doubt a) he cares and b) he's even noticed.

I disagree. That might be the case for a lot of the upper management in the Heathcotes organisation, but I know that both PH and Max Gnoyke (MD of the company and former head chef at Gavroche) will both be upset. I saw first-hand how happy PH was to have retained his star last year, and I can assure you he'll be hurting.

It's often said that Longridge is run as a vanity operation, but it's not. GP is very tightly controlled and although it brings in next to no revenue compared to the Simply Heathcotes and Olive Presses, it pays its own way.

edited to add: Declaration of possible interest - I used to work at Longridge.

Edited by culinary bear (log)

Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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As for most undeserved Michelin star my vote goes to The New Angel in Darthmouth, two stars Midsummer House Cambridge and three stars...haven't eaten in any! Bib is the Mistley Thorne.

Really? :unsure:

I thought it was one of the best restaurants I've been to in ages.

Totally agree Scott

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  • 2 weeks later...
After various discussions comparing 1* restaurants with other 1* restaurants etc. It's been suggested to me that you simply can't do this otherwise you end up with ridiculous situations such as a one star pub getting compared to Claridges or Aikens. What you need to do is compare like with like, so compare the 1 *pub with another 1* pub and the one star French place with another 1* French place, it doesn't stop all the arguments but it certainly starts to make more sense.

Subsequently a restaurant like Arbutus getting a star is understandable as Michelin recognising the rise of the Bistro de Luxe type of restaurant. It's happened before with Indian (Tamarind), Thai (Nahm) Japanese (Nobu), Chinese (Hakkasan) cuisine and they led the way for other restaurants in their area of cooking to get a star. I fully expect to see other restaurants (Galvin perhaps) in this area obtain a star in the future.

Added emphasis

Derek Bulmer comments on the Michelin results in today's Restaurant magazine seem to emphaise my point that Michelin are opening up the way for a more casual style of dining.

On Anthony Demetre and Arbutus getting a star "A complete change of style for him- it's much simpler that what he was doing at Putney Bridge,but the flavours are still fantastic and come through in the cooking, and it's every bit as good"
On Tom Kitchin at Kitchin in Edinburgh getting a star"It's in the style of Arbutus, simple, but with great flavours and good pricing. That's the way forward as far as I'm concerned"
Edited by Matthew Grant (log)

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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I agree with Bulmer, that Arbutus is every bit as good as Putney Bridge.

but that says more about putney bridge than anything else.

the context, expectations, price etc much more in line now than they ever were at the dreadful P_Bridge.

Now in it's proper form, arbutus is an enjoyable, well positioned bistro deluxe.

A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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bistro deluxe.

Was this title not invented by the brothers Galvin ? Has Arbutus taken their crown ?

yikes, this changes everything! thanks for pointing it out :laugh:

A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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This is no slight on Arbutus but I can name at least 10 bistros in Paris alone that deliver food at least on a par with Arbutus and for cheaper in many cases, and I guess they're never likely to receive a star.

So is this movement Bulmer alludes to restricted solely to the UK? I suspect so in which case this makes Michelin's proffer of all restaurants across all countries being measured by the same standards more ludicrous now than ever; and for me at least makes the guide worthless in the UK.

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This is no slight on Arbutus but I can name at least 10 bistros in Paris alone that deliver food at least on a par with Arbutus and for cheaper in many cases, and I guess they're never likely to receive a star.

So is this movement Bulmer alludes to restricted solely to the UK?  I suspect so in which case this makes Michelin's proffer of all restaurants across all countries being measured by the same standards more ludicrous now than ever; and for me at least makes the guide worthless in the UK.

Bulmer's take on things seems to be at odds with Naret who wants Michelin to become "the international standard of reference for restuaurants". Unless Michelin France are going to start awarding stars to restuarants"....simple, but with great flavours and good pricing" I can't see how it is setting an International Standard. It is undoubtedly setting a Standard for each country it works in but the standards are relatively incomparable, if you compare between countries.

Naret again:

"Look in France we're French and in Spain we're Spanish, "he argues, pointing out that once a guide is established in a country French control is relinquished.

"Now in the States, we're American, 80 per cent of the team, eight out of ten of the inspectors we currently have are American. When we look at a new city in Asia we'll do exactly the same thing. We are right now recruiting in Asia for inspectors for the Asian guide and they'll be under our development for two to three years and then, as we have done in other countries where we have guides, we will leave them alone."

Now I don't see anything wrong with that at all but to have an "international standard" surely the only way is to have inspectors from all countries rating restaurants in several countries to get a consensus. By only having English or American or whatever nationality running their own reviews they will undoubtedly put their own take on it and that may be different from another country's opinion. There is little doubt in my mind that restaurants in France are judged on a different level to restaurants in England, Italy, Spain or America and that's just the ones I have experience of, I don't think it is done deliberately, it's just the way it is.

On a more cynical level you may also this that the inspectors from one country will mark restaurants differently to garner more press. If we marked to the French standard in the UK we may well end up with half the stars we have now - now that wouldn't sell many guides would it?

Edited by Matthew Grant (log)

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Naret again:
"Look in France we're French and in Spain we're Spanish, "he argues, pointing out that once a guide is established in a country French control is relinquished.

"Now in the States, we're American, 80 per cent of the team, eight out of ten of the inspectors we currently have are American. When we look at a new city in Asia we'll do exactly the same thing. We are right now recruiting in Asia for inspectors for the Asian guide and they'll be under our development for two to three years and then, as we have done in other countries where we have guides, we will leave them alone."

This is interesting, because it was exactly my take on their approach to Ireland this year. There's something very Irish about Chapter One in Dublin, which they have ignored in the past and just awarded a star (open 15 years), and I was even more surprised to see how quickly Aldridge Lodge in Wexford was awarded a Bib. Total speedy Gonzales compared to their usual time frame.

Hopefully this won't be their only criteria/focus. I would like it as an additional string to their bow.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Another restaurant that I am suprised has not been recognised by anyone (or commented on in this forum from what I can find) is Patterson's.  I have only ever had excellent meals there, and my meal on Friday night was one of top ten in the last 12 months (and I managed to chow my way around a total of 57 michelin stars amongst that- although some were visit more than once it must be said!)

Is there a thread on this place still in existence? Was there last night* and it was packed, yet it seems to live under the radar of most folk.

(* In summary: the lobster was sold out so I paniced and ordered badly. Dull, tasteless crab lasagne starter followed by a lamb main that was like like something you'd sweep off a butcher's floor. However, the date's langoustine starter and scallop main were both very good. I don't doubt Patterson's is a solid restaurant, but perhaps a lack of consistency stops wider recognition. That, and the wierd claustrophobic atmosphere of the room.)

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  • 1 month later...

Nice review. I'm looking forward to going to The Kitchin - it's just the sort of place Edinburgh needs.

I take issue with Durack's comment about the rain: "It's raining, of course, but then, rain is as much a part of Edinburgh as the festival." Edinburgh's actually a pretty dry place, being on the East coast. Glasgow's where you want to go for a bit of rain. :raz:

PS

Edinburgh

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I love those conversations. Everyone says Manchester rains, but it doesn't. Well, only rarely. What it does is drizzle constantly between November and February. It almost never rains. For rain, you need to go to the Yorkshire moors. Preferably halfway up Pen Y Ghent (okay, that's the dales) as the black clouds sweep over...

Sorry, homesick.

It no longer exists, but it was lovely.

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