Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The S.Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurant Awards 2011!

So here's hoping Chateaubriand holds it's place at 11 in the S.Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurant Awards here in London next Monday night.

My invite to Bieber
More importantly here's hoping I can maintain some form of composure at the least, mock multi-lingual chat at the mythical best, with my cuisine idols when I join them at the awards ceremony!!! 

My boss is validly concerned I may morph into a culinary take on a Bieber fan. I'm validly concerned as to what I would be capable of expressing when I "bump" into Rene Redzepi or David Chang (my little speculation here, he was absent from last year's list) on my way to the bar. 

The Awards have fast risen to prominence as the annual voice box of restaurant industry experts and international gourmands.  The process remains check-list free and what constitutes the 'best' is left for those who would know to determine.   This is a long way from the red tape, rules and secrecy surrounding the evaluation process of the once monopolistic Michelin Guide. Industry commentators have not been shy to query how this lack of regulation impacts the integrity of the accolade.

Integrity of the accolade?  The awards are voted by international gluttons, food lovers and restaurant obsessives in accordance with their their own views about what matters, what works and what's exciting in the dining market.  I'd value that opinion more than any assessment swayed by the fold of a napkin or the availability of parking. There is process to the Award procedure, just not the familiar box ticking one. Arguably this affords panelists the greatest capacity to evaluate freely a restaurant experience in accordance with modern and ever-evolving criteria.  I see this only as a good thing to encourage and champion innovation and ingenuity outside the confines of the traditional understanding.  If a Scandinavian tourist authority cares to foot the bill for a bunch of foodies to 'discover' the next big thing on a nordic plate, then so be it. I'll concur with Mr Petrini on this one...while a 100 euro lunch at Chateaubriand is worth getting excited about, would the fact it were comped really sway my way? 

OK, this lunch would probably make me think twice...
All 'Big' issues for sure, and I'm well versed in The Official Party Line to be articulated (in Danish and Korean) on my way to the bar on Monday night. But I think we're really over looking a more pressing matter...what will the chef's be wearing on the red carpet?

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