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With Michelin selection day a little over a month away (September 26th) I figured I would make my annual predictions. As always this is not what I want/think Michelin should do, but a prediction of what they actually will do. As recent history has taught us, expect less rather than more, so I am keeping my expectations modest - quite possibly not modest enough.
Rising: While our 2* restaurants are all incredible, I do not think Michelin is going to elevate any of them. I also think there are a handful of current 1*'s that are operating at a significantly higher level than others, but also do not expect any current 1* to be promoted this year.
Descending: I also do not expect any currently multi-starred venues to drop. There a handful of 1* venues at risk do to chef changes (i.e. Band of Bohemia, Temporis, Roister) I am not expecting any of them to lose their star at this point.
Newly Starred: Lots of good new restaurants this year; have had wonderful meals at Bayan Ko, Vajra, Galit and many others. However I am predicting that just four non-starred restaurants become newly starred this year (and based on the past couple years, this may be overly optimistic, but I think all of these venues are deserving and stand a solid chance):
1) Kyoten. Chicago saw a run of high end sushi venues and Kyoten seems to be a full step above the others in quality. I predict they will debut at 1*.
2) Stone Flower. While there is controversy because of what happened with 42 Grams, generally Michelin just focuses on the food; as such I am predicting a 2* debut.
3) S.K.Y. I really was expecting them to be starred last year; they are even better in year two of operation. Sometimes Michelin seems like they wait a year on chefs who have not previously ran a starred kitchen; am hoping that was the case this year and that they will be awarded 1*
4) Jeong. My dark-horse candidate. Creative, high quality ingredients, well executed, consistent and delicious. While Chef Park has not previously been starred, it seems like Jeong has what it takes to earn 1* in year one.
No Stars: Lots of $$$$ venues have opened in the past year-or-so. Charging a lot of money and serving a lot of courses obviously does not necessarily equate to Michelin stars, and I think this will be apparent with this guide. While all four of the new high end Omakase venues are good, I do not think any of the other three have a shot of a * this year. Likewise I do not see Yugen or Brass Heart being starred this year.
Future Stars: There are some very promising venues scheduled to open in time for the 2021 guide with multi-star potential, most notably Ever but also I have high hopes for Tales of Carlos Gaytan. Here's to hoping Chicago's guide becomes larger & larger over the next couple of years.
Band of Bohemia
* = Newly starred venue
Curious as to other people's predictions and opinions on this topic!
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