Actors dream of winning an Oscar, Tony or an Emmy. Musicians want a Grammy and fashion designers would do anything to win a CFDA Award. And chefs? Well it's not even about winning but earning
the highest accolade and recognition, and that is a Michelin star.
A hallmark of fine dining quality, a Michelin star means that your restaurant is brilliant and it's bragging rights that chefs all over wish they have. Earning one Michelin star is a big deal. Earning three? That's as rare as seeing the Lochness Monster and it's the pinnacle of fine dining chefs. Michelin stars (overseen by the tyre brand, Michelin in a yearly guide of the best restaurants) are so big a deal, that chefs cry when they aren't deemed good enough.
Gordon Ramsay cried when one of his New York restaurant, The London, lost its Michelin star rating. "I started crying when I lost my stars. It's a very emotional thing for any chef. It's like losing a girlfriend. You want her back.'
And since the food world is obsessed about Michelin stars, it makes sense that there's a documentary about what happens in the kitchens of restaurants deemed worthy of the star. Directed by Danish filmmaker Rasmus Dinesen, Michelin Stars- Tales From The Kitchen follows fifteen Michelin star-earning chefs over a period of two years. The film’s description says it hopes to expose the “greatness and flaws of Guide Michelin” and explore a “realistic understanding of life behind the often airbrushed scenes” of the restaurant industry. See the trailer below:
"Michelin Stars – Tales From The Kitchen" Trailer from Bon Vivant Communications on Vimeo.
Michelin is strictly about food. That's what the anonymous food experts and reviewers care about. Amazing food of exceptional quality. Each star represents a particular ranking:
One star: A good place to stop on your journey, indicating a very good restaurant in its category, offering cuisine prepared to a consistently high standard.
Two stars: A restaurant worth a detour, indicating excellent cuisine and skillfully and carefully crafted dishes of outstanding quality
Three stars: A restaurant worth a special journey, indicating exceptional cuisine where diners eat extremely well, often superbly.
There have, however, been criticisms of the Michelin Guide and the effect it has on chefs and the standings of restaurants around the world. According to Vanity Fair: "French chef Bernard Loiseau, then one of the most famous chefs in France and an inspiration for the chef Auguste Gusteau in the Pixar film Ratatouille, shot himself in the mouth with a hunting rifle in 2003, amid speculation that the Michelin restaurant guide was about to pull his restaurant’s third star."
Some chefs have reportedly even decided to 'give back' and decline their Michelin status, as it prevented them from innovation.
The documentary will premiere at the San Sebastián International Film Festival in Spain later this month. There is still no word on when it will be available for viewing/streaming.