We really can’t add anything* to this exhaustive, informative and entertaining look at the Frog-leaning prejudice of the Michelin’s restaurant rating system over at the Accidental Hedonist. It’s just really, really good. To whet the appetite:
There are two things going on here that Michelin is probably reluctant to admit:
1. Michelin reviewing standards aren’t as unbiased as they would like the rest of us to believe.
2. In the long term, it makes more economic sense for many restaurants in the guide restaurants to appeal to consumers than it does to appeal to the biases of the Michelin reviewers, especially if the restaurant is going to be seen as “less than” a three star restaurant.
Clearly Michelin wants to be perceived as non-biased, stating on the record that “When it comes to the stars, it’s all about what is on the plate.” But in practice, this is clearly not the case. One needs only look at the recently released New York City Michelin guide, where the much lauded Union Square Cafe was absent, not only from the three star list, but also the two and one star lists. Also of note in the Guide, more than half of the restaurants that drew at least two stars could be considered “French”.
* – Except maybe this. Kingsley Amis – the author of the most entertaining book on correct English grammar usage you are ever likely to read – claims that English speakers should pronounce “restaurant” in the phonemes of the French. If that sounds pretentious to you, juxtapose it in your mind with the fact that his son, Martin Amis, once filled 3 pages of one of his novel with the word ‘fuck’, written over and over and over again. Then the family pretty much evens itself out.