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The madness for perfection is also needed in bartending

Here is a quite controversial documentary about the obsession of chefs, when it comes to winning of one, two or even three stars of the veritable Guide Michelin.

Just to comment shortly on this video, I have to say, that you can't really make Michelin responsible, for the obsession, what people on all sides: journalists, chefs and guests show. It is just the point of reference, which everybody sees as "lightning house".

But really - I believe, that the Michelin is one of the best gauges, what a chef can have.
You can see the variance for example in the UAE, which isn't (yet?) covered by the Michelin:
You have TimeOut, which is highly subjective. You do have Zomato [very similar to Yelp], which is haunted by casual reviewers, which might be or might not be genuine [same applies for the reader reviews of TimeOut]. You have TripAdvisor, which sports definitely more genuine reviews, however it is still very subjective [and compares apples with oranges]. Non one of these reviewing sites, has a high influence into the quality of a restaurant. Sure, the restaurants, don't want to have a bad review - but all these reviewing "systems" don't set standards - the reviewing points are highly subjective from reviewer to reviewer [even if the reviewer is a professional journalist].

And this is the main difference between these "crowd reviewing" websites and the Michelin [besides of other similar restaurant guides] - the Michelin instates standards.

What do I mean with that?

First off all, it is the "meaning of the stars" which are almost poetic. Taken out of wikipedia:
  • one star: "A very good restaurant in its category" ("Une très bonne table dans sa catégorie")
  • two stars: "Excellent cooking, worth a detour" ("Table excellente, mérite un détour")
  • three stars: "Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey" ("Une des meilleures tables, vaut le voyage").
You can always argue, if a restaurant deserves one star, if it hasn't one, or doesn't deserve it, if it has one- same applies for a restaurant which has two stars [does it deserve "only" one star? Or is it as good, that it deserves 3?] or even the amazing three star rating. 
However the stars don't only state, that this is a good, a better or a great restaurant. It states, that a three star restaurant is worth a special journey. And I find this big!

But more importantly is, the secret formula the Michelin has, to rate the restaurants. In fact it is not that secret, on which criteria the incognito restaurant critics of the Michelin are rating the restaurant. It is all about food quality [and taste], preparation quality and refinement, produce freshness, authenticity and style. Well - obviously it is not that simple - but simple enough, that chefs can set their standard, to "work towards" the quality, which would give them the opportunity to win a star.

And this is an achievement of the Guide Michelin, which even a venerable rating as the San Pellegrino top 100 restaurants cannot deliver.

And these obvious and rather straight forward standards are missing in the bar.
As previously exposed, is the better part of a joke. Sure, there are expert picks - but again, there are no common standards, which can be taken, to get on this list.
I had the feeling, that the Glenfiddich Award for Bar Culture was a good step into the right direction, to establish quality standards for the bar [and the award for them] - however this award was discontinued. 
There is also the Difford's Guide. But again - I don't see really unique standards, which are easy to follow for a bartender.

I have posted this already before [in the previous, but deleted incarnation of this blog] - but will do it again: which Non-Negotiables, we should have in the bar.

And I hope, that all of my readers, will join the discussion, on which are proper non-negotiables. 

Stay tuned...


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