The View From My Window

The world as seen from my window and through my eyes

The new Michelin Guide is out and so are my random musings October 7, 2008

Filed under: Random Musings,Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 7:18 am

As reported by Epicurious, the new Michelin Dining Guide is out and there are chefs celebrating or weeping all over the world. I love reading about food, cooking food and, of course, eating food. The amount of creativity and work it takes to achieve this rating is certainly something to be admired. That said, there are still some things this novice finds interesting/confusing about the whole thing.

  • Have you ever actually dined in a Michelin rated restaurant? Have you known anyone who has?
  • Is it common for the wine to cost more than the entire meal?
  • Have you ever participated in a chef’s tasting? Does it taste better with Michelin stars attached?
  • I’ve read some of the menus from the 4 star restaurants on the list and I am both awed and confused by some of the descriptive terms used: amuse bouche, girollies, veloute, etc. I always have to go look things up to know exactly what they’re talking about! Or, take a basic French course…
  • Occasionally these top restaurants have things on their menus that I can’t imagine people wanting to eat at all, let alone pay top dollar. For example, pigs tail may taste good, but, I’d rather have pork loin or something a bit more substantive. Or, as noted on the menu for Le Bernardin, geoduck. Geoduck?? Did you watch the episode of Dirty Jobs where Mike Rowe helps harvest geoduck? Man, those things are NASTY looking!
  • There are things on the menu that I’ve just never heard of or been exposed to. Especially in the area of fish or seafood: kampachi, fluke, kumamoto, escolar, kindai maguro. Wow, I’ve got to get out more!

As I said, I’m highly impressed. Life in the hospitality industry is a lot of hard work, late hours and dedication to craft. If you’ve eaten in rated restaurants, let me know what you thought. Worth the hype and the cost or highly overrated?


One Response to “The new Michelin Guide is out and so are my random musings”

  1. Jamie Says:

    OK, so yes, I’ve eaten in a Michelin rated restaurant. Le Bernardin, actually. It was tasty and the service was excellent, if a bit rigid and pompous. The portions were small, but I appreciated the creativity and skill involved. I’ve been following Chef Eric Ripert and Pastry Chef Michael Laiskonis for a couple years now. In fact, the pastry chef puts some of his recipes on his blog and I’m itching to try recreating them if I can track down the ingredients (Greengage plums, anyone?). Call it a test of what I learned in culinary school, if you will.

    Yes, wine can cost more than the meal, but if you’re paying that much for the meal, you either don’t order wine or say “what the hell…”

    Never had geoduck, but I’d eat it without giving it a second thought if Chef Ripert prepared it.

    Tasting menus are OK if you’re willing to try anything set in front of you. I’ve done a few, and they are generally hit and miss. Or, in the case of WD-50 (and I mean this with the greatest respect since Chef Wylie Dufresne promptly returned my phone call when I needed to ask him about borrowing some of his equipment), mostly miss… Who wants foie gras that’s been so overly processed that you can tie it into a knot? (Although the fried mayonnaise was pretty cool…)

    And finally, yes, those guys do work hard. There’s a reason I went to culinary school, but didn’t end up working in a restaurant. It’s fun and exhilarating, but I couldn’t do it for the 60-80 hours per week than many chefs put in. And if that makes me “lazy” then so be it.

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