One of the favourites parts of my strange little job is meeting chefs, quite often in their kitchens. I find professional kitchens fascinating and being able to meet chefs within their own environment is a real privilege.
I have been fortunate enough to meet in some of the worlds best restaurants. From tiny little hidden gems to the grandest of 3 Michelin starred kitchens, and have been in awe at the skills on display around me.
When meeting these chefs, the conversation naturally turns towards accolades and stars. Without fail, every chef I have spoken with will say that they aren’t cooking for stars, and without fail, every time I can’t help but think that they are kidding themselves.
The cachet attached to having a Michelin star (or two, or for the incredibly talented, three) is huge. They can make or break a business. I have spoken to many a chef who has told me that the phones ring almost constantly after being awarded a star.
I would consider a fine chef to be an artist, and very few artists also have great business minds. The restaurant industry is incredibly competitive and accolades come with marketing opportunites. These accolades really shouldn’t be sniffed it. Rosettes and stars help to fill restaurants.
In the U.K, restauranteurs are awaiting the news of this years Michelin reviews which are are made public on the 7th October. In a time where the country is going through a lot of uncertainty and where people may be forced to tighten their purse strings, these announcements are more important than ever.
So good luck to all those chefs and front of house staff who have worked incredibly long hours in an unbelievably difficult industry. You may not be cooking for stars, but you may just be about to experience the Michelin effect. My fingers are crossed for you all.
** update - News has just come in that one of our clients has been the first UK restaurant to receive a star this year. Alchemilla headed up by the brilliant Alex Bond is now a proud owner of its first star. Well deserved as Alex has a great pedigree and has made Alchemilla a very special place.