Monday, June 29, 2009
This weekend I will be taking my beloved mother and brilliant wife to New York, to dine at Alain Ducasse's, Adour. It was a hard choice for me. It's a very special occasion and I thought about a Michelin 3 starred restaurant such as Jean Georges, or Masa but Adour won out. What made it a hard decision you ask? You see, I have this dream of dining in all the Michelin 3 starred restaurants in the world in the next 5 years and doing it on the cheap. A steep target considering Andy Hayler, the first person to accomplish this Gastronomic feat, spent £15,000 on the food alone. He reckons he spent another £15,000 on travel expenses along the way. That's £30,000 or about $50,000 to eat 68 meals. That's an average of $735 a meal, including travel. Holy rusted fan belt Batman! When Andy set out to eat in all the Michelin 3 starred restaurants, there were 68. As I write this, there are 72 Michelin 3 starred restaurants in the world.
Why would I have such an outrageous and wasteful urge? Being a foodie and loving food as I do, I want to try the best. I want to be blown away by the presentation, the service, the wine list, the menu, the creativity and all the glorious tastes. And truthfully, I have never eaten in a Michelin 3 star restaurant and not been blown away. As of right now, I have eaten in only three of the 72 Michelin 3 starred restaurants: Per Se in New York, Le Bernardin, also in New York and the Fat Duck in Bray, England. Good Lord, I have a lot of eating to get on with and a lot of money to make in order to achieve this monumental goal I've set for myself. The best so far was the Fat Duck, although, my mother did get food poisoning from a bad mussel. On the upside, we were quickly recompensed with a free lunch for two and received a letter of apology from the manager. Unfortunately, mom wasn't able to make it, so my wife, then Fiancé and I enjoyed the lunch alone, with only a slight feeling of guilt, which was briskly washed away with a bottle of Gaja Promis Ca'Marcado. Sadly, the Gaja was not included in our free lunch. Bollocks!
There is a lot of controversy surrounding the Michelin Guide at the moment. Mostly because of the sheer number of 3 starred restaurants. In 2002 there were 41 Michelin 3 starred restaurants in the world, today there are 72 and it's growing quickly. How did that happen? It could be because more money is being spent on restaurants now. There are hundreds of cooking programs on TV. Cooking and restaurants seem to be the "in thing" at the moment. The Celebrity Chef has taken hold of the planet and now these simple chefs are treated like royalty. New restaurants are opening up at blistering speed. Super Chef's own numerous restaurants, which keeps quality consistently high, or should anyway. There could be hundreds of reasons and many people have written about these reasons much better than I could ever hope to. One thing is for certain, there are a plethora of fabulous restaurants out there and I intend to eat in as many as I can. I urge you to do the same.
To make it easy, I have listed all the current Michelin 3 star restaurants in the world, below:
Here's the current list by country:
Belgium: De Karmeliet • Hof van Cleve
China Hong Kong: Lung King Heen
China Macau: Robuchon a Galera
France: l'Arnsbourg • Lameloise • Les Pres d'Eugenie (Michel Guerard) • Auberge d l'Ill • Cotes St Jacques • Michel Bras • Paul Bocuse • Le Petit Nice • Arpege • Astrance • Bristol • Guy Savoy • l'Ambroisie • Ledoyen • Meurice • Pierre Gagnaire • Plaza Athenee (Alain Ducasse) • Pre Catelan • Les Loges de l'Aubergade (Michel Trama) • Troisgros • Cote d'Or • Clos des Cimes • Pic • La Maison de Marc Veyrat • Georges Blanc
Germany: Aqua • Restaurant Bareiss • Dieter Muller • Vendome (Joachim Wissler) • Restaurant Amador • Schloss Berg • Gastehaus Erfort • Schwarzwaldstrube • Waldhotel Sonnora
Italy: Dal Pescatore • Enotecca Piniciorri • Calandre • La Pergola • Al Sorriso
Japan: Hamadaya • Ishikawa • Joel Robuchon • Kanda • Koju • L'Osier • Quintessence • Sukiyabashi Jiro • Sushi Mizutani
Monaco: Louis XV
Netherlands: Oud Sluis • De Librijie
Spain: El Bulli • Can Fabes • Akelare • Arzak • Martin Berasategui • Carme Ruscalleda's Sant Pau
Switzerland: Le Pont de Brent • Hotel de Ville (Philippe Rochat)
UK: Fat Duck • Waterside Inn • Gordon Ramsay
USA: Joel Robuchon • Jean Georges • Le Bernardin • Masa • Per Se • French Laundry
My professional photography website: Taylor Young Photography