Between The Red Covers

From my earliest days, my father has conditioned me to revere one and only one restaurant guide: The Michelin Red Guide. For as long as I can remember, this has been the ultimate source of wisdom when it comes to making dining decisions. I remember how thrilled I was when Michelin finally made a Red Guide for New York, as if the culinary gods had turned a beam of enlightenment upon the city. I could not agree more with Chef Paul Bocuse, who said “Michelin is the only guide that counts.”

It was a childhood fantasy to be a Michelin critic one day: chic jet-setter, shrouded in mystery and powerful anonymity, eating my way through the best restaurants Europe has to offer. Now, of course, I realize that the lifestyle is hardly the glamorized one I held in my head, but instead consists of  burdens, such as “the travel, the regimen of constant eating, the pressure to fill out meticulously detailed reports on time, the enforced anonymity, the low pay.” However, for all drawbacks of being a Michelin critic and for all the criticisms charged against the guide for being too stodgy, too rigid, too traditional, too scientific, I love the guides and everything about them as an institution. So it was with great delight that I read this piece from last November’s New Yorker, in which John Colapinto actually got to meet and eat with a Michelin reviewer (unheard of) and Michelin guide  managing director Jean-Luc Naret. It’s absolutely riveting if you have even the slightest interest in reviewing food. Many thanks to avid blog reader and friend Max for sending it in!

{from The New Yorker}


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