Chez Panisse Responds to Michelin Snub“Although Ms. Waters respects the traditions upon which the Michelin Guide bases its awards, she acknowledges that they aren’t the same traditions upon which Chez Panisse has built its reputation and success over the years.”
Japanese Grasp Universal Truth of Michelin’s UselessnessTokyo has had a taste of Michelin madness, we read in the Times yesterday, and didn’t like it much better than we did. (We wrote, at some length, of the banality and misjudgments which marred the famed restaurant guide last year.) We can’t speak to the accuracy of Michelin’s Tokyo picks, but we would have bet dollars to doughnuts that the Japanese could, and sure enough, the Times finds people to say as much: “Japanese food was created here, and only Japanese know it,” one chef is quoted as saying. “How can a bunch of foreigners show up and tell us what is good or bad?” Not to put too fine a point on it! The other interesting part is that Tokyo, which has six times as many restaurants as New York, is unhesitatingly pronounced by Michelin chief Jean-Luc Naret as the top restaurant city in the world. Which isn’t going to go over very well in Paris, or for that matter here. Something tells us Michelin should have stayed in France.
Michelin Gives Stars, but Tokyo Turns Up Nose [NYT]
Related: How to Eat in Tokyo, Michelin Capital of the World
Michelin: Gastronomic Bible Reads Like In-Flight Advertorial
Huckabee Skips Sushi; Super Bowl Snacks AboundFinally, the presidential candidates “respond” to the sushi crisis. Mike Huckabee’s stance? “Nowhere does the Bible mention sushi in the Garden of Eden.” [NYT]
If you’ve ever dreamed of being a Michelin Guide inspector, consider first that in a year “each inspector evaluates 240 restaurants, spends 130 nights in hotels, carries out 800 inspections, writes 1,100 reports and drives 18,000 miles.” [Guardian]
The international conservation group Oceana has issued a report saying that it found mercury levels in tuna sushi throughout the United States to be just as high as in New York’s supply. [Diner’s Journal/NYT]
Gordo Blog Better Than the Real Thing; Water Trend More RidiculousA true innovator has started a mock Gordon Ramsay blog with such posts as “What? Emeril’s boobs aren’t nice enough?” But when will someone step in to fill in the gaps at Chodoblog? [News Groper via Serious Eats]
Related: Food Network, Emeril No Longer Feeling the Love
No holiday parties at Chumley’s this year; according to the owner Steve Shlopak, the space has no ceiling and no floor. [NYO]
Even after a top-chef shuffle and “showdown between Fiamma, L’Impero and Alto … all three places have come through recent turmoil, and the good news is that they’re better than they were before,” says Steve Cuozzo. [NYP]
How to Eat in Tokyo, Michelin Capital of the World
When it comes to New York restaurants, the Gobbler’s views on the addled Mandarins at the Michelin Guides are well known. But when news came, the other day, that the first-ever Michelin Guide to restaurants in Tokyo had awarded our distant sister city a mind-boggling total of 191 stars (compared to 65 in Paris and 54 in New York), the Gobbler had to admit that those crazy fools might be on to something. Not long ago, we spent a week rampaging through Tokyo in a kind of epicurean daze. The Gobbler still isn’t sure exactly what he consumed (fugu sperm sacks, possibly; grilled chicken uterus, definitely; a very nice chocolate éclair flavored with bamboo), but one thing’s for sure. It was all pretty damn good. Here are a few rules for eating yourself silly in that great restaurant mecca, Tokyo, Japan.