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French Critic François Simon Eviscerates Michelin: 'Like a Black and White Television'

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Photoshop: Raphael Brion

French restaurant critic François Simon took some swipes at the Michelin Guide in a recent interview with the website Atabula: "For me, Michelin is like a black and white television that tries to give us an outdated opinion on gastronomy today." Michelin announced its stars for France just yesterday, and while Simon calls the five new two-star restaurants "unquestionably deserving," he says: "The guide is eroded each year a little more. It would take a tremendous overhaul for it to wake up."

Simon specifically takes issue with the guide's view of France's culinary landscape, calling it "a sort of ethnocentrism." Also, he criticizes Michelin's obsession with "monolithic" restaurants in which a chef "shows himself worthy in their eyes." He also disparages restaurants that rely on "pageantry" and calls Michelin rumormongering "highly dangerous." Says Simon: "In the end, Michelin pushes to achieve a cuisine of obedience."

Simon is, of course, not the first to lash out at Michelin. Last Fall, British writer AA Gill took a few swings at Michelin, calling the guide "wholly out of touch," among other (delightfully vicious) things. British critic Jay Rayner has called the guide "increasingly antiquated" and Esquire's restaurantman John Mariani has criticized them for the "erosion of standards Michelin once held sacrosanct."

· Entretien Avec François Simon, Journaliste et Critique Culinaire [Atabula]
· All Michelin Coverage on Eater [-E-]

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