Top French chef makes a meal of Michelin guide

4th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 4 (AFP) - France's "chef of the century" Joel Robuchon has heaped scorn on the famed Michelin restaurant guide after a series of gaffes, accusing the 2005 edition of Europe's food bible of losing its way.

PARIS, March 4 (AFP) - France's "chef of the century" Joel Robuchon has heaped scorn on the famed Michelin restaurant guide after a series of gaffes, accusing the 2005 edition of Europe's food bible of losing its way.

"Before it had a very important impact. It was the flagship and the standard-bearer of French gastronomy," Robuchon says in an interview on Gourmet TV to be screened later Friday.

"Today after all these mix-ups, it saddens me that we are beginning to question the impartiality of its judgement ... I hope that Michelin will get back on its feet. It was brilliantly led in the past," the chef says on the food channel which he co-runs.

Earlier this year Michelin had to pull its Benelux Red Guide 2005 from sale after it was revealed that it included a rave review for a restaurant which was not even open for inspection.

And earlier an inspector who worked for the France guide was sacked after writing a book in which he said there were too few inspectors evaluating restaurants and some chefs were treated as above criticism.

Robuchon, a former Michelin three-star chef, has refused to allow his two restaurants in Paris and Monaco to feature in the guide "because they don't meet the backward-looking ostentatious criteria for luxury of today's Michelin guide."

But he adds he hopes that "the guide will rediscover its rigour for the prestige of our cuisine around the world and become infallible once again."

The Michelin guide, first published in 1900, introduced a system of star ratings in 1926. It awards the best food with one to three stars, the highest rating meaning "exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey."

The guide's evaluations play a crucial part in the fortunes of the chefs who struggle to get into the book and rise in its ranks.

Three stars is a guarantee that wealthy French and foreigners will line up to dine in an anointed establishment, while the loss of even one star can spell financial or emotional ruin.

© AFP

Subject: French News

0 Comments To This Article