2008 Michelin Guides

2008 Michelin Guides – 2008 I wouldn’t expect any of my fellow restaurant writers would give an impartial view on the Michelin guide. To a greater or lesser extent we are all jealous of the headlines it attracts on publication and the influence it has on chefs, their restaurants and their business during the year thereafter. Having said that, I don’t know one of my colleagues – although as a group we rarely meet – who would swap what they are doing for a job as a Michelin inspector. The…






Michelin and its value

The Michelin Guide and its value in the new restaurant age – 2002 The 2002 Michelin, the red guide to Great Britain and Ireland, is just out and can be summed up in three words – dull, dull and dull. It is not so much that there is no change at the three-star level – neither the anticipated elevation of Gildleigh Park in Chagford, Devon nor the long overdue rise of Mayfair’s Le Gavroche to this summit has taken place (in the latter’s case is this Uncle Michel Roux keeping…






The evasive Michelin man

The evasive Michelin man – 2007 I had been planning to devote this Saturday’s column to an interview with Jean-Luc Naret, the editor-in-chief of the Michelin guides to restaurants worldwide, an interview which he had requested. However, after more than a week spent on the phone and via email with his London PR, Naret eventually withdrew because he would not agree to a fundamental principle of any journalistic interview – that this process should only include two people. Such an approach, I believe, detracts from the professional image Michelin seeks…






Ruth Reichl

Ruth Reichl – 2002 Picking up a napkin to protect her white Shanghai Tang blouse, Ruth Reichl took one look at the menu at St John in London’s Smithfield and smiled. ‘Wow,’ she exclaimed, ‘this is certainly not the kind of food you would find anywhere in the US.’ Reichl should know. She has been restaurant critic for the LA and the New York Times, before taking over two years ago as editor of Gourmet magazine, as well as writing some particularly eloquent gastronomic memoirs in the form of her…






Another great book by William Black

Another great book by William Black – 2005 The British ‘season’ that recently began at Glyndebourne, East Sussex and goes on to include the Chelsea Flower Show, Ascot, Henley and Wimbledon is much more glamorous and better known than the one dearer to restaurateurs, chefs and their customers which began about a month ago with asparagus, broad beans and peas and goes on to include all the summer’s soft berries, with Scotland undoubtedly producing the best, and the first grouse of the year. There was probably never any danger of…






British Restaurant Guides

British Restaurant Guides – 2004 National guides to restaurants can easily be a year out of date, expensive and therefore frustrating. And, as the current revelations of a former Michelin inspector in France reveal, not quite as comprehensive as they claim. Fortunately, however, we can now benefit from a series of alternative regional guides, each of which cover their specific area and which, together with what is offered via the internet from individual restaurants’ websites, add up to a far more comprehensive picture of what is going on in British…






Books for Cooks

Books for Cooks – 2003 As a Trustee of the André Simon Awards for the best food and drink books of the year I know from receiving and reading 81 new food and cookery over the past eight weeks that the association between books and food has never been as pervasive as it is today. Since restaurant chefs started writing their own cookbooks (highly profitable to both chef and restaurant if they sell well) their books are increasingly visible. I have watched Jamie Oliver sign a pile of over 20…