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Michelin in Asia -- what is the deal?


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Restaurants & Bars China & Southeast Asia

Michelin in Asia -- what is the deal?

chloehk | | Feb 8, 2011 08:36 PM

I just read the 2009 New Yorker article about one of Michelin's NYC inspectors:

In it, the inspector says their rating is "just technical. I mean, cooking is a science, and either it’s right or it’s wrong. And that’s something that’s very objective. Either a sauce is prepared accurately—or it’s not. A fish is cooked accurately—or it’s not."

Is having a well-developed French palate (i.e., you know all the sauces, cooking techniques, major ingredients) sufficient to judge the goodness of Chinese food for a Chinese audience? Is having a well-developed Chinese palate sufficient to judge French food for a French audience?

If you're someone who happily eats both, do you turn off one part of your brain when you're eating Chinese and the other when you're eating French?

I was just reading Thai Chef McDang's rant on how Michelin gave stars to two "Thai restaurants" run by non-Thais who don't treat rice as a central part of their cooking, which is apparently anathema to Thai cuisine.

I know that Michelin sells well in Japan, but I've heard a lot of crabbing about their guides for China (including HK/Macau).

Have they made any official statements on how exactly they're going about judging Chinese food?

If this is written up somewhere, can someone point me in the right direction?