[Photoshop: Raphael Brion / Eater]
British critic AA Gill is rather unhappy with the Michelin Guide. In the midst of Michelin announcement season — New York's stars were announced yesterday — Gill writes a truly remarkable, seething piece for Vanity Fair's November issue. In it, he tears into the 100 year old French restaurant guide and "the legion of score-settling adjective junkies populating unreadable Internet blogs" who adore it. So, what's wrong with Michelin? It's "wholly out of touch" and rewards "fat, conservative, fussy rooms that use expensive ingredients with ingratiating pomp to serve glossy plutocrats and their speechless rental dates." According to Gill, the guide "killed the very thing it had set out to commend."
Thanks to Michelin, Gill writes that chefs stopped "cooking for dumb, annoying customers and began making food for invisible, mercurial, undercover inspectors." The inspectors' standards are too French and undervalue cuisines from places like Italy or India. The write-ups in the guides "effortlessly lick the bottom of the descriptive swill bucket" with "hideously embarrassing faux grandiloquence," specifically calling the write-up of Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare a "handjob." According to Gill, chefs are held with "a withered widow's grip" by the guide and therefore tend not to criticize it publicly. Thankfully for those who have issues with the guide, Gill's around to rip Michelin a new one, with relish.