The joyful mystery of the Michelin Guide – Italian Cuisine

The joyful mystery of the Michelin Guide


Years and decades pass, but the Red remains elusive. Unfulfilled predictions, curious and often questionable choices, apparent imbalance between historic venues and novelties. Ultimately, its strength is to go on a different course, incomprehensible to many. Let's set some minimum posts

Net of any doubt, discussion, controversy, it must be emphasized that now more than ever there are three essential elements of every Revelation Star (once it was called the presentation of the Michelin guide…). The first: in a country made up of previews, background and publication of current accounts, the Red not only manages to hide everything until the last minute, but also afterwards (which, we repeat, is incredible in Italy). The second: cheerfully sbertuccia every prediction, especially of the insiders, so much so that we wonder why someone has not created a racecourse-like totalizer on the percentages of double or third star. The third: even the most expert critics and gastronomic journalists – as far as they claim to understand – have not understood the method of assigning especially the single star, not to mention the double. All talking about the infallible method to conquer it, some even suggesting it scientifically, and here too on Monday in Franciacorta, a good 50 percent of the new stars were known only to those who frequent or work in the local area. How do we put it?

The reality is that the Michelin follows its own inscrutable course. There are objectively a number of young and old chefs who are doing a really good job and recognized by the other guides, but also by the traveling gourmets. The Lido 84 case of Riccardo Camanini is the perfect example: you go through the Five Cappelli dell’Espresso and the Three Forks of Gambero Rosso (the top of their respective publications), but leave a place to a star that for the The Best World's Restaurant it is 15th – the best in Italy – appears to the most absurd, grotesque, delusional. Instead, believe us, he is alone Michelin. With less emphasis, however, it is a situation that concerns chefs like Carlo Cracco, Andrea Berton and Matteo Baronetto who are doing very well. Someone even brings up that they are together with Camanini Marquesans, forgetting that Davide Oldani (two stars) is and this year one of the last students, Fabrizio Molteni, won the Macaron in a good restaurant in Sirmione, La Speranzina. While the chef who replaced him at the Albereta in 2011, Daniel Canzian – good and experienced – has not yet been awarded, despite the fact that he works very well in his restaurant in Milan.

We plant it here, because the list would be boring (and it does not concern only the Marquesans obviously). It is to underline the joyful mystery that no one is able (really) to reveal and in 2021 the plus of the Michelin: because no one discusses the famous 30 percent more bookings in a newly starred venue together with the chef's emotion and enthusiasm. But it's how to get there the theme. The only buoy of the course that is well anchored – because it is underlined by Michelin – is the consistency of performance: it is not enough to make a bang, but once you have reached the level deemed right, there is no failure. And this explains why there are eternal clubs with a star that are vintage (by the author, mind you) compared to those born in the last decade. Quite right? Wrong? And the Michelin. On the other hand, here is the search for under 35 and under 30 – respectively sixteen and five among the newly starred – which on the one hand is meritorious, but at the same time penalizing for many good professionals between 40-50 years of age who (we are not afraid to say it) propose kitchens and work in superior rooms.

In this case, there is less mystery: it is called a very subtle balance between appearing conservative (almost reactionary) and showing oneself revolutionary, even with the idea of ​​the Green Stars, deserving, but linked to a cauldron of aspects that in reality by now characterize a sea of ​​clubs in Italy. We quote verbatim: "In awarding the recognition, inspectors take into consideration many factors: the production of raw materials, respect for work and the support of local producers, waste reduction, waste management, actions aimed at minimizing the use of energy resources and the impact of the structure on the environment, the sustainable training of young people are just some of the themes ". More of everything. Having said that, it will be the months (indeed, the years) that follow that will give weight to the choices of this edition that promised epochal fires – but we were the ones who thought so, as always – but it only fired good firecrackers. Or rather, he exhibited them with the usual style: there are champions who have been chasing the second Star for five or ten years and here is a very serious professional, but objectively not from the saloon like Giovanni Solofra, if he wins it starting from scratch with the Tre Olive trees of Paestum. It is the charm of the Michelin, the mystery that fascinates on the one hand and angers on the other. But in the meantime, we're here to talk about it. Again, so chapeau.

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