[Wales] Michelin star "handed back"

Yes, I know you don’t actually hand back the award - you just say to Michelin don’t come and assess us this year. But, hey, I’m not the BBC’s sub-editor. But here’s the story.

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Any idea why the photo of the trio was captioned the way it was, John?

You know what I know, Jimmy.

I’d actually never heard of the place until this. It’s one of those “middle of nowhere” places where you’re either going to be a local or have made a specific journey to eat there.

I have it in mind there was another place (Scottish?) that also withdrew from Michelin in the last couple of years, citing much the same reasons.

It’s perhaps reinforcing the fact that Michelin standards no longer really represent how Britons are eating at the top end of the trade. Although I’ll still be intrigued to see who wins and who loses when the awards are out next month.

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Interesting. I can’t afford to eat at Michelin 3-star (or 2-star…) places often enough to worry much about their existence in general (and am really not into one-off “experiences” just for the sake of having done them… once, food-related or otherwise), so I don’t have a dog in this race, but leaving aside the question of the Guide’s relevance in these post-modern, post-Interwebz times we live in, I do wonder whether “allowing” a restaurant to bow out of the “running” really sets a good precedent for the Michelin Guide in general?

I mean it’s basically “just” a publicity stunt intended to fend off what the Chef(s) believe(s)/assume(s) would be a down-rating - possibly a drastic one - as the result of their business decision, isn’t it? So why should they be “let off the hook” rather than simply being told to make their decision and any public announcements about it they wish to make (and can get the media attention to make them with) and take whatever rating-related “lumps” come their way as a result of their decision?

Last year, a one-star French chef gave back his star. The cost to maintain a star standard, meaning your price can be too high for small rural place with no tourists.

Some extracts:

But Mr. Brochot’s decision was not a rash one, born of arrogance, ingratitude or spite. Rather, it was for a prosaic, but still important, reason: he could no longer afford it.

It is a drastic step that says everything about the crushing reality of “the other France” — the provinces where on average more than 10 percent of storefronts are vacant, the old jobs have gone, and the cafes are empty on cold mornings.

Even in a region famed for its culinary traditions, this declining old mining town deep in lower Burgundy could not sustain a one-star Michelin restaurant. Mr. Brochot, a youthful-looking 46, had gambled on high-end cuisine in a working-class town and lost.

…He could no longer pay for the personnel, produce and precision that go into charging one-star prices.


I can understand a restaurateur not wanting to expend the effort or risk the out-of-pocket expense needed to get or maintain Michelin stars, but I don’t see what the has to do with being allowed to “opt out” of the running? Presumably potential patrons decide for themselves whether they want to spend the money to eat at Michelin-starred restaurants, but as far as I know or understand these things, the price of a meal has never been a factor per se in determining the ratings. They’re not intended to express a cost-benefit analysis, they just (theoretically) quantify the quality of the “dining experience” there. I guess it just seems to me one more pinprick in the Guide’s relevance and credibility, if a chef is allowed to decide not to (or conversely therefore, decide to), “compete” …

Every guide listing or review (whether professional or not) is simply an opnion. It is, for example, a fact that I give more credence to people who post on this forum than I do to those who only post on Tripadvisor. And give more credence, in the UK, to the listings in the Good Food Guide, than I do to Michelin. I may have more to say on the subject on Monday evening (UK time) after Michelin announces this years UK stars.