So we were watching a cooking show on Netflix recently and noted Michelin 3 star chef, Giorgio Locatelli, was one of the judges. I’m vaguely familiar with the concept of Michelin ratings: as I understand it every year the Michelin company secretly reviews a number of restaurants around the world and then compiles a book with their ratings: awarding one, two, or three stars based on how great they think the dining experience is.
Whenever one hears ‘Michelin star chef’ there’s a sense of awe like there is no higher honor in the culinary world. These are the best of the best. For me, though, this stretches credulity a bit. I mean I’m positive all chefs at restaurants that receive the top Michelin rating are thoroughly competent managers and masters of the cooking craft, but at the same time it just seems the whole experience of dining is such a subjective thing that one questions if the eyes/taste buds of any one reviewer can reasonably say ‘yeah, this restaurant and this chef are THE BEST’. I mean given the choice of dining on sea urchin and prawn at ‘Saison’ or a rack of ribs and side of slaw at Ray’s Smokehouse, I’d probably choose the latter (price issues aside).
How much credence do you give to Michelin ratings? Would you be more inclined to dine at a restaurant that received a 3 star rating versus one that wasn’t rated by Michelin but happens to serve the best fried chicken, steak, chili, fish and chips, or whatever it is you happen to really enjoy eating?
Lastly, does anyone know is there some sort of objective standard that Michelin applies in determining its ratings? I mean, beyond the chef not burning or undercooking something?