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50 Best and Michelin Guide: why do chefs care so much about appearing? – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

50 Best and Michelin Guide: why do chefs care so much about appearing?


Let’s start with a concept: The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024 it is a ranking, not the bible of catering. We won’t bore you with the methodology that leads to the final result: to simplify, it’s a mega-survey among professionals – with notable and declared lobbying actions (ergo, there’s no point in denying it this time it didn’t work for Italy) – while the Michelin guide it is the evaluation of a group of people (the legendary inspectors) who go around the premises anonymously, getting it right or wrong. So, in light of the half disappointment (three quarters, if you think about it) that arose from the night in Las Vegas, the question is: will we have real damage from the almost general worsening of our best restaurants? Yes and no. In the meantime, let’s remember how it went for our heroes: Lido 84 in 12to position (he was seventh in 2023), Reale at number 19 (he was 16th), Piazza Duomo in 39th place (he was 42nd, hurray) and Uliassi only in 50th (he was 34th). In the list from 51st to 100th there are Atelier Moessmer at 52nd and Le Calandre at 51st while Mudec greeted us which in 2023 was 85th.

The “very good lounge”

The damage is of a promotional nature for the Italian food system and for the establishments that need – and almost all of them do – international customers. Because beyond the legitimate pride of being among the best chefs in the world, it is about being part of the “very good salon” that brings a group of serial gourmets from one part of the globe to the other, even in frankly uncomfortable places. Example no. 1 is represented by Lido 84 by the talented Camanini brothers: great cuisine, full of ideas; very nice restaurant with splendid terrace overlooking the lake; Italian hospitality. But only the presence, at the top, in the The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024 it allowed him – we have proof of this – to seat Mexican, Japanese and American customers in Gardone Riviera, even and above all out of season when there is desert around. The good Davide Scabin who was part of it for a few years with Combal Zero always remembers that «the moment I entered or returned, I received hundreds of emails to book from all over the world. When I lost positions they automatically dropped.” And the Fifty beauty. Which for Italians – including gourmets – doesn’t mean much (find someone who will mention Reale’s placing, but everyone knows it has three stars), but for those who want to broaden their horizons a lot.

Michelin arrives later but…

And here we are with the fact that seen through our eyes, the fall of the gods is more a question of personality than reality. In the sense that the Italian clientele (small, objectively) of our top venues only looks at the Michelin guide: hence the terror, especially of the chef-patrons, in losing a Star and the infinite joy in winning the first one or rising in rating. Now, it is also true that the maximum ratings often coincide or rather Nostra Signora Rossa usually comes later to certify the excellence, as was the case with Noma. Disfrutar, new restaurant n.1 (almost obvious) for the The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024 has the Three Michelin Stars, Extebarri – second in the ranking – only one, but it is the temple of grilled cuisine, therefore perfect for those who love trends, but not for the Little Red Book. Table Bruno Verjus, surprise of the year, boasts two, but be careful, it is located in Paris and even in this case it does not have the perfect standards for the Guide. For the record, our best ones – apart from the aforementioned Lido 84 – have had the Three Stars for some time.

Bottura’s role

Pulling the strings, if you want to “be in the world” it is essential to be part of the 100 chosen beyond the real value. Without any malice, three-quarters of the South American or Asian restaurants in the ranking are inferior to dozens and dozens of European and Italian restaurants first and foremost. While from one country to another, Michelin can be more proactive (in France, obviously) or more severe (Italy, but up to a certain point); but it becomes complicated to criticize her for assumptions. On the topic The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024, we will have the counter-proof of every reasoning (theoretical, lobbying and concrete) in a year under the Mole: Turin will host the 2025 edition. The great maneuvers have already started, with the objective – not easy, we say it now passing as pessimists – to raise the group’s prices. Because, it is fair to point out, now the real phenomenon – namely Massimo Bottura – is in the Hall of Fame and has been co-opted to better organize next year’s event. We could say it’s a shame you’re not still playing.

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