Is the Michelin Guide still relevant?

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 21st September 2017

With the Michelin Guide UK 2018 launching on October 2 2017, the TMRW Project asks the question is Michelin relevant? 

On Monday, September 25 a panel of top chefs including Chantelle Nicholson and Josh Overington, along with Adam Coghlan, editor of Eater London, will host an open discussion at Marcus Wareing’s Covent Garden restaurant, Tredwells to discuss all things Michelin. During the talk the panel will address whether the guide is still relevant, explore other ways to rank restaurants and detail what the stars really mean. 

Josh Overington
Josh Overington

After 80 years of ranking restaurants, co-founder of the TMRW Project, and food writer and creative consultant, Anna Sulan Masing, believes Michelin is still relevant to the industry today.

“It is a recognised system, therefore it is accessible to a wider audience. This means that a small independent restaurant who receives a star will get a boost in custom.”

She continued to explain how there’s ample room for a host of awards and various guides, “we are in a time where excellence is understood in multiple ways - this is what makes the industry an exciting place to be at the moment.”

Why is Michelin such a polarising subject?

Speaking about why he wanted to get involved in the talks Josh Overington, chef patron, Le Cochon Aveugle said: “I think it’s an interesting subject and I understand why it’s such a polarising subject in the industry because people have very strong opinions.”

He continued: “I think with any rating on restaurants it’s a very subjective thing I think it’s the best guide out there to rate restaurants and I think it’s the most accurate out of all of them. But obviously, in my opinion, they do get things wrong every now and again.”

Josh also expressed his concern for younger chefs wishing to gain stars and other accolades saying cooking to purely to win awards shouldn’t be the overarching goal for any chef.

“I think it’s important for younger chefs to be involved on the pure basis that I think it’s a bad habit for younger chefs to aim for a Michelin star or any awards for that matter”, the chef explained.

“I don’t think anyone should ever cook to gain awards, I think that’s just recipe for disaster.”

Dan Doherty
Dan Doherty

This is the fourth panel the TMRW Project has hosted. Earlier this year they hosted one to discuss whether female focused awards are important and will hold another later on in the year to discuss front of house and how to raise that side of the industry’s profile.

The TMRW Project was set up in 2015 by Anna Sulan Masing and Duck and Waffle's chef director, Dan Doherty.  The three initiatives for the TMRW Project include; Chefs of Tomorrow, a series of four dinners that showcases the culinary talent within the UK; The Switch, a nationwide ideas exchange that sees Front Of House staff switch places of work for up to 1 week; and Industry Talks, a panel discussions on topical industry questions led by industry experts that tackle sensitive and relevant topics; all designed to encourage the development of the UK’s hospitality industry.

To be part of the discussion, you can purchase tickets via Eventbrite for £5 + booking fee. Doors open at 6pm, the discussion begins at 6.30pm followed by a Q&A at 7.15pm.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 21st September 2017

Is the Michelin Guide still relevant?