BusinessPersona January, 19th 2017 by

The 'New' Michelin Guide



The ‘New’ Michelin Guide

 AJ Linn

 Any regular reader of this column will know I am not a great fan of the Michelin Guide  but things are changing for the better. The recently-updated Spanish Michelin has raised a storm, and although most people could not care less, the Guide can be literally a matter of life and death to those involved in the restaurant business – as the list of chefs’ suicides demonstrates.


The Spanish Michelinistas, interested primarily in conserving their hard-earned stars, are aghast at what they consider to be a downgraded guide, featuring ‘gastronomic’ establishments with tasting menus at below 60 euros. None of the critics wants to be named, but why, they argue, award stars to restaurants where the main priorities are organic products, reasonable prices and lacklustre cuisine? They will soon be giving stars to food trucks, they claim, obviously unaware Michelin already publishes a guide to Hong Kong street food.


New entrants that should not apparently be given house room include Argos, Port de Pollensa, Mallorca (30 euros); Adrian Quetglas, Palma, (35 euros); Céleri, Barcelona; Baluarte, Soria; and Cobo Vintage, Burgos (all with 40 euro tasting menus). Traditionally such gastronomic Michelin-style experiences cost 150 to 200 euros, so clearly the French have finally adopted new guidelines, and, without shouting it from the rooftops, it is palpable the intention is to break down the relationship linking the Guide with gastronomic pretentiousness.


However much they complain about the change of policy, the Michelinistas have only themselves to blame. With their high prices, supercilious attitude towards customers, ridiculous chef’s uniforms with badges all over them like Formula One drivers, and, above all, their insistence that they be referred to as Michelin chefs, when everyone knows there is no such thing (Michelin awards stars to restaurants, never to chefs), they have ended up annoying their once-faithful followers. The foodie media is also to blame, glorifying some chefs to unjustifiable levels and treating the Guide as if it were a sort of Gastronomic bible. Yes, it is indeed time the world’s most famous culinary guidebook drags itself into the 21st century.

AJ LinnFoto copia(1)

AJ Linn

Andrew Linn left England 40 years ago to relocate to Spain, having been involved in businesses such as wine shipping and publishing. He currently writes regularly and professionally on wine, food, flamenco, and the Spanish way of life for various publications, and has a regular column in a Spanish newspaper. Andrew is involved in charity work relating to abandoned and mistreated animals.

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