Esquire's listicle writer John Mariani met up with the Michelin guides director Jean-Luc Naret and gave the guy a hard time. The blog post's title — "Sparring with the Most Sensitive Important Man in Food" — is perhaps a little insulting! And also totally dickish.
Mariani assumes that Michelin's judgment is made by "a single, perhaps dyspeptic inspector... on the basis of a single meal." Which is a little curious — was Mariani's list of the "20 best new restaurants of 2010" written after dining at each of those restaurants multiple times?
Anyway, faced with a grouchy line of questioning, Naret sticks to party line of "we judge only what's on the plate," which only gets Mariani more angry.
Writes Mariani, "When I asked how Peter Luger in Brooklyn... could possibly be the only steakhouse in New York with even one star, he went all huffy on me." A huffy response to a huffy question? What could have been an informative conversation was totally derailed by Mariani's loathsomeness and flat-out anger. You can catch more flies with honey, Mr. Cranky.
Naret does reveal why Michelin stopped publishing guides in Los Angeles and Las Vegas (poor sales), but then he takes a jab at the people of Los Angeles, calling them "not real foodies." He said, "They are not too interested in eating well but just in who goes to which restaurant and where they sit." Burn.
· Sparring with the Most Sensitive Important Man in Food [Esquire]
· All John Mariani Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Jean-Luc Naret Coverage on Eater [-E-]