Who Cares About Michelin Stars?

Michelin made its triumphant return to Los Angeles and no one was happy with it. They didn’t award a single restaurant 3 stars, even though many believed that some of the restaurants in LA are the best in the world. Tom and I talk about Michelin Stars, the validity that they bring, and the issues we have with them.

The one example that I have used multiple times for Michelin in NYC is the Steakhouse example that I called “The Peter Luger Standard”. Steakhouses in NYC are all pretty similar, some are definitely better than others and some are not as traditional. That all being said, the only Steakhouse in the entire 5 Boroughs of NYC that has a Michelin Star is Peter Luger. By Michelin recognizing Luger as being worthy of a Star, why are the handful of other NYC Steakhouses that serve more varieties of steak and sides, as well as the Porterhouse, Cream Spinach, Mashed Potatoes staples not awarded with stars? Luger is not the best Steakhouse in NYC, it is incredible and I believe it is one of the most important restaurants in NYC, but not the only one that deserves a Michelin Star

My next point is the obvious Nepotism and borderline Xenophobia with 2 vastly different 2 Starred Restaurants. Gabriel Kreuther in Bryant Park has 2 Michelin Stars. They are a fancy French restaurant with an interior very similar to Le Bernardin. When I went there, they served me a cocktail with 2 types of ice, and fish that had been expired. Neither of these should be acceptable at a restaurant of any caliber much less one with 2 Michelin Stars. I’ve also eaten at Gaggan which has been voted the #1 restaurant in Asia for something like 5 years in a row. Where I had probably the worst seafood of my life at GK, I had the absolute best piece of seafood at Gaggan. A Tandoori Prawn that was perfect in every way.  Gaggan has only 2 Michelin Stars and is not only the best meal I’ve ever had but on a different planet than Gabriel Kreuther.

My final point is comparing 2 Mexican Restaurants in NYC. Oxomoco is across the street from our studio in Greenpoint and Cosme is in Flatiron. Oxomoco is a wonderful restaurant and deserving of their Michelin star, but Cosme was literally the best a la carte dinner I have ever had(Gaggan is a tasting menu) and they were not awarded one. They are also famously run by a female chef Daniela Soto-Innes. This one just confuses me, but then again there is no Michelin guide for Mexico

Let me know what you think about Michelin and your experiences in the comments below

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