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Published on January 18th, 2013 | by thehungrymanc

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Chasing Stars

Michelin.  The be all and end all of the restaurant trade?Michelin

The lack of a Michelin star in Manchester, despite it being the first city in the UK to receive one at The French, seems to have people all in a tizz to be the first place in ages to hold the accolade.

The question is – is it important?

Obviously it is very important for the chef concerned.  It is, afterall, the standard by which they are judged on a global scale.  But what if the judges just don’t like coming to Manchester?  Well – in the spirit of Manchester’s revolutionary past – we might say “Balls to them”.

The arrival of Michael Caines a few years back, the imminent arrival of Simon Rogan.  The amazing dishes being produced at Aumbry, Kaleido and by Ernst van Zyl.  All the Michelin starred accomplishments or training they all have, did they suddenly become crap chefs?

There will no doubt be the argument that one Michelin starred establishment attracts others to try and there is no doubt that this may be the case. Also – it puts Manchester on the food map internationally. Again hard to argue with.  But surely the job of promoting the city far and wide does not fall solely at the feet of a head chef?

Those of us that live here are already well aware of the quality of some of the food on offer in our city.  What could be as important as the Michelin inspectors rocking up with their clipboards and metaphorical white gloves, is the everyday folk like you and me refusing to accept the really crap stuff.  I’m not talking about the chains or the greasy spoons – every city needs them.  I’m taking about the kind of place that we’ve all been to where, because they are in the city feel it right to charge a fortune for what is no better than you could cook at home.

Anyway this wasn’t meant to be a rant – just a conversation starter.  Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

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2 Responses to Chasing Stars

  1. jainw says:

    A great blog and very thought provoking. I would like to query whether a Michelin star does actually mean that the eating experience is improved? I have eaten at several inc Jupiter (Paul Rankin’s 1 star eatery in Altrincham, now sadly gone, Bohemia, Jersey and La Becasse, Ludlow) , but as much I enjoyed the experience for a special occasion, not sure I would feel the need to go back on a regular basis for both budgetary and satiety reasons. So I think the Michelin star is more about publicity and trumpet blowing, than a guarantee of an excellent meal at a sensible price, so maybe us Mancs should be grateful for our wonderful restaurants, I would add Bells of Peover to the list btw, and not worry too much about the ratings.

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