As Michelin doles out stars and food media (Eater included) compiles year-end restaurant rankings, one chef has had enough. Relae chef and Noma alum Christian Puglisi thinks restaurant rankings and awards are “ridiculous,” and it’s not because he’s not getting them.
“I have grown so tired of this constant need to sizing, ranking and listing every single thing in this industry,” Puglisi wrote in an Instagram post. The chef and his Copenhagen restaurant empire, which includes Relae, wine bar Manfreds, pizzeria Baest, cafe Mirabelle, and a “farm of ideas,” receive their fair share of awards. Relae has one Michelin star, is No. 39 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants rankings, and won that organization’s sustainable restaurant award in 2015 and 2016.
According to his Insta-rant, Puglisi was recently named the 69th best chef in the world by an unnamed organization, and, he says, “I really hope that you really don’t give a flying fuck! Because guess what? You shouldn’t!”
While he acknowledges that awards and rankings have helped his business and boosted his ego, he thinks that the constant sizing up creates a competition out of something that’s not meant to be competitive. “It’s not sports, it’s not politics. It’s not about votes, it’s not about ratings. It’s about eating, living, cooking, and kicking ass,” he says. Plus, he adds, it’s unfair that anyone “judge me or anyone else on a scale with thousands of other cooks that I might have a lot or absolutely nothing in common with.”
The Instagram post’s comment section is now filled with praise and affirmation from fellow chefs and diners who are weary of the lists. Although, at least one commenter points out that without them, Puglisi wouldn’t have quite as many supportive followers. See his argument in full below:
Look at this! I have been voted (I think) to be the 69th best chef in the world! And I really hope that you really don’t give a flying fuck! Because guess what? You shouldn’t! I have grown so tired of this constant need to sizing, ranking and listing every single thing in this industry. It seems like a month can’t go by without some new list coming out that you need to relate to. 50 best restaurants, 100 best restaurants, 50 best pizza, Top 300 most influential under 30, best chef in the world, I won’t be surprised to soon finding the worldwide Top 100 ramen shop, the 50 best dressed chef of the year list (won by Quique Dacosta every year so maybe short lived..) the 100 best chefs on instagram and why not; The Best Chef Tattoo List in my feed or inbox. But now things are getting ridiculous - let me all just remind you if you forgot for a moment. It’s about food. Cooked in restaurants. - it’s not sports, it’s not politics. It’s not about votes, it’s not about ratings. It’s about eating, living, cooking and kicking ass. There is in my mind no sense in turning the great art of gastronomy and conviviality in a constant competition for acknowledgement, rankings and likes. It does not NEED to! Do you like what you are doing/eating/cooking? Does it need to be related to other experiences of that kind to have any value? No! Just enjoy the moment! Be present! It’s subjective! Sometimes you need to take the time to try and understand a bit of complexity rather than just simplifying every damn thing by ranking it. And yeeeees, I acknowledge that me and my business have been helped by many a ranking. At first my ego gets me excited, wow- top 100 chef in the world. But then I’m thinking; who the hell has the right to judge me or anyone else on a scale with thousands of other cooks that I might have a lot or absolutely nothing in common with...? As a person? As a chef? I have not entered an election as far as I know. People! - you can’t rate people!!! Some of these ideas need to live and die their short lives behind the doors of some marketing department of some blendermaking company. Enough now. #bestchef #rankmyrant
• @chrifrapug [Instagram]