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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Michelin guide Italy 2008

The new Michelin guide for Italy has announced its new stars. After the recent lavisheness of stars for German and Japanese restaurants (including three stars for a sushi bar in Tokyo) there is a surprising paucity of stars for a country where - we can assure you, and with all due respect for other types of cuisine - you can eat divinely well...

No matter, who cares about guides, you can always read our blog for more objective judgements...

But we want to congratulate two chefs who have been justly rewarded and whom we praised here: Walter Miori of Locanda Margon where we had a fantastic dinner just a few weeks ago,
and Piercarlo Zanotti of L'Ortica, for whom we forecast a bright future just a few months ago. Well done guys, keep up the good work!


Unknown said...

I had not realised this was already out (ahead of publication schedule). Would you mind telling me if there are any changes at the 3 star level? Is there is a list of the starred places on-line anywhere?

P.S. You have a very nice web site, and you passion for Italian food comes through strongly.

Man-Woman said...

Thanks Andy for your appreciation of our blog.

The guide was presented on 27/11. No, there are no new 3 stars...and the Italian gastrojournos are all in a rage about this...

For the star novelties online, you might look here:

You have to wade through some Italian text, but then it becomes obvious.

Man-Woman said...

OK, the link did not fit, let's try tinyurl...

Anonymous said...

this is a great website. its good to see personal restaurant reviews from random people other than magazines or books. great pictures too!. i actually work for walter miori at fior di roccia and paolo at malga panna. they made by far the best italian food ive ever had. they're great people. your basically living my dream. thats eating everywhere possible. haha. looking foreward for more blogs. good job.

Man-Woman said...

Thanks Anonymous!

Unfortunately we did not meet Paolo at Malga Panna, but we know Walter and you are right, he is a great person and chef.

Anonymous said...

From which sources do you know that the three stars for Germany are given too freely? Have you any dining experience with german or japanese high end restaurants? How do you think you can give a more objective view than the Michelin guide and its team of inspectors? I think you should at least do some comparison before you make such judgements
Nevertheless I enjoyed your website - keep on
Jan Philip

Man-Woman said...

Hi Jan,

thanks for your comment on our blog.

We never said that stars are given 'too freely' in Japan and Germany.

We just noted what is under everybody's eyes, and made news around the world: the objective abundance of stars in Japan and Germany compared to historical standards.

An abundance which maybe is deserved, maybe not: as you note, we cannot say (though watch this space as we have an upcoming trip to Germany...). The term 'lavishness' was used by us in the plain dictionary term of: 'To give or bestow in abundance'.

Our remark was not original. This is from the Times (20 Nov 2007), for example:

'Tokyo, the neon-clad home of the pickled sea-slug and horseradish chocolate, has eclipsed Paris, London and New York to become, officially, the most delicious city on earth.'

And somebody who knows about stars and the working of the Michelin guide, Ferran Adria' himself, while fully praising Jiro (the three-star sushi bar in the Tokyo metro station), noted the 'epochal turn' of the guide.

So we are simply not naively pretending that nothing is changing in the Michelin firmament.

What we continue to find truly remarkable is that one of the great traditions of cuisine on earth, the Italian one, is so little represented in this firmament. There must be something positively wrong with Italian chefs, an inability deeply seated and genetically ingrained if, despite being fortunate to draw on such a great tradition, they are incapable of cooking at high international standards according to Michelin. This genetic inability is confirmed by the fact that, of already very few three stars restaurants in Italy, two belong to non-Italian chefs. It will be a great scientist he or she who eventually discovers the gene of Italian cooking inability.

You can see we've got a gripe...

Finally, we are not sure whether or not we can make 'more objective' judgments than the Michelin inspectors. Michelin clads its mode of operation and its criteria in such a thick veil of secrecy, that it is is hard to tell. Certainly, when details come out, they are not always flattering for Michelin, as you are no doubt aware, but we don't want to rub it in. Let's say that like for any organisation, there are some things to like in Michelin - not least its simple classification system (no silly 'x and a half' points) - and some weak spots.

The only claims we make for ourselves are these: 1) nothing, absolutely nothing, informs our judgments beside our tastebuds and eyes 2) we have lived and breathed Italian cuisine for all our lives 3) we can make detailed comparisons at all levels with the restaurants of one great city, London. 4) we are not paid professionals but ordinary paying customers, so we have a keen eye on value for money as well.

Beyond that, the culinary world is for us a big and fascinating dark theatre that we to hope to continue to explore.


Anonymous said...

thanks for the interesting information

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