Michelin Stars Review: Dishing The Dirt

March 11, 2010 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews


Can anything really be summed up by a star rating?

Okay so here at OTB we give all the latest releases a mark out of five but never without some further analysis.

Chefs work their artichoke hearts out for a single star in the prestigious posh-nosh Michelin guide.
When they’ve got one, there’s a taste for two. Once two have been secured then all that’s left is that coveted third star – reserved only for the greatest foodies on the planet.

In the lead-up to the 2010 Guide’s release, food writer William Sitwell explores the near-mythical publication and its star-system, speaking to chefs dreaming of recognition and those who question its value. But this star-chasing can have a shocking effect on some cooks, leading to a dangerous and sometimes deadly obsession.

Marcus Wareing spends most of his time away from his family trying to gain star number three. For him it means more recognition and more money.

Raymond Blanc thinks the guide can be destructive for chefs, a point proved by the case of Bernard Loiseau who was so haunted by the idea of losing a star he took his own life.

Sitwell visits some of the most famous names in food to get their opinions and visits the mysterious Michelin headquarters to talk to the guide’s top-dog. He also secures an interview with a senior inspector who likens his work to being a secret agent – ‘license to eat’.

Our narrator never forgets the trivial nature of food while those around him seem crazed by it: “They’re only cooking lunch – will it change the world?? Inbetween interviews we find out about the history of the Michelin book and the attention to detail it takes to achieve inspectors’ approval.

Sitwell’s cynical outlook and friendly nature goes down well. Even those with little interest in food will find this documentary most appetizing.