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Michelin stars-what do they mean?

I will put my French hat on: it's Pré Catelan, not Catalan.

Named after the Capitaine des Chasses of King Louis XIV, a certain M. Théophile Catelan
 
Went to a one-star restaurant for lunch near La Courtine while on ex a good while back. Food was pretty good but the outstanding moment was when the waitress brought the cheese selection to the table. She whipped off the shiny silver dome covering the cheese only to reveal a huge blue-bottle scoffing away.

She dropped the dish and screamed.
 
I'm not sure if it's urban myth or true, but I'm sure I heard to get a third star, restaurants have to stock certain wines, which at £5-£10k per bottle are obviously out of reach for mere mortals and only the super-rich can afford them.

I've eaten in a number of 1 stars, never any higher, and have to say - they were what I would call "life memories" and I will never forget them, the only exception being "Man behind the curtain", I had the 9 course tasting menu, which had a different wine with each course, and I was fairly shyters by the end of the night, after carrying on the motion in Leeds, and don't remember much of that meal!

Wine, like truffles, and Turkish/middle eastern carpets is a piss take. The further away from the source the more the item costs.

When I left BAOR I had amassed a collection of around 1000 bottles of wine, mainly bought by the case, initially from Handelshof the local cash and carry, then I started to drop into vineyards direct. I had decided to teach myself something about the wine I was drinking so I learnt a little about quality, vineyards and how much the good stuff cost in the local off licence/supermarket/wine shop. One day I pinged some cases of eiswein for sale in the cash and carry for around DM120 for a case of 6 - I had seen that same stuff being sold by the bottle for around DM80, so I bought some and that was the start. I even did a bit of dealing by taking cases back to the UK when I was going back on leave and made a nice little profit.

I used to go down to St Raphael/Frejus in the Sarf of France on hol's regularly. A mate had done a huge favour for me so I asked him what wine he would like, he told me that his fave was Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Whilst on the way down to St Raphael we swung off and went to the winery where we got a couple of cases at a fiver a bottle. Back in the UK I dropped a case onto my mate and he was more than overjoyed telling me that the stuff I had got for a fiver actually went for 30 quid a bottle in the UK. I kept the other case, tried it, tasted like petrol to me so I gave that to my mate too.

Go up and down the Mosel Valley, or the Rhine Valley and you will find hundreds of winery's all selling their stuff under retail.

As for Turkish carpets the rule of thumb is that from Turkey to Europe increases the price eight fold and take it further to the US and you will see a twelve fold increase in your investment. No different to wine.

Edit to add: We went near Porto a couple of times on holiday. In the huge supermarkets on the outskirts of Porto they sell port that only see's the light of day in the UK in some very expensive vintners. In Porto I was paying 10 to 15 euros for a bottle which would cost around 30 to 50 quid in the UK. The holiday pays for itself.
 
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This is a good film on the woes of getting stars. It is wife friendly too, no warry violence, bit of a love story.

Getting one Michelin star means you are Luke Skywalker, getting three stars means you are Yoda.

 
This place near my office has a Michelin star - so not everywhere is fine dining


is the bat soup to die for ?
 

endure

GCM
Wine, like truffles, and Turkish/middle eastern carpets is a piss take. The further away from the source the more the item costs.

When I left BAOR I had amassed a collection of around 1000 bottles of wine, mainly bought by the case, initially from Handelshof the local cash and carry, then I started to drop into vineyards direct. I had decided to teach myself something about the wine I was drinking so I learnt a little about quality, vineyards and how much the good stuff cost in the local off licence/supermarket/wine shop. One day I pinged some cases of eiswein for sale in the cash and carry for around DM120 for a case of 6 - I had seen that same stuff being sold by the bottle for around DM80, so I bought some and that was the start. I even did a bit of dealing by taking cases back to the UK when I was going back on leave and made a nice little profit.

I used to go down to St Raphael/Frejus in the Sarf of France on hol's regularly. A mate had done a huge favour for me so I asked him what wine he would like, he told me that his fave was Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Whilst on the way down to St Raphael we swung off and went to the winery where we got a couple of cases at a fiver a bottle. Back in the UK I dropped a case onto my mate and he was more than overjoyed telling me that the stuff I had got for a fiver actually went for 30 quid a bottle in the UK. I kept the other case, tried it, tasted like petrol to me so I gave that to my mate too.

Go up and down the Mosel Valley, or the Rhine Valley and you will find hundreds of winery's all selling their stuff under retail.

As for Turkish carpets the rule of thumb is that from Turkey to Europe increases the price eight fold and take it further to the US and you will see a twelve fold increase in your investment. No different to wine.


Buying a case of Porta 6 red from Majestic will cost you £96. Buying it direct off the web from Portugal Vineyards will cost you €62 and that includes €14 shipping cost.
 

tgo

War Hero
I think as others have said, there seems to be a trend in some of the so called posh restaurants for food to be tarted up in minute portions with fancy veg shapes, rather than plain well cooked food in adequate portions. Totally unnecessary in my opinion!!

now I haven't dined in a 1 star Michelin, I have however been 'treated' to plenty of hotels ranging from 1 to 4 star through work.

I've found in my experience that the further up the stars you go, the more pretentious the food is but the portion size also diminishes accordingly.
true the dishes tend to be very artistic, but wouldn't fill a hungry mouse.

3 star is realistically about as far as I'd like to go, lower tends to be a bit threadbare, and higher it's all style and no substance (some of the suites were lovely though)
 
now I haven't dined in a 1 star Michelin, I have however been 'treated' to plenty of hotels ranging from 1 to 4 star through work.

I've found in my experience that the further up the stars you go, the more pretentious the food is but the portion size also diminishes accordingly.
true the dishes tend to be very artistic, but wouldn't fill a hungry mouse.

3 star is realistically about as far as I'd like to go, lower tends to be a bit threadbare, and higher it's all style and no substance (some of the suites were lovely though)

I agree, they also tend to take the piss more with extras.

I stayed at the Dorint am Heumarkt in Cologne for a couple of weeks after my disc replacement operation 18 months ago. That is a 5 star hotel and I got a very good deal through Hotels.com as it was just out of the tourist season so they were trying to fill up empty rooms. I checked out their restaurant menu and again it looked like a portion was a cube of meat and a smear of gravy on the plate. I trundled off to the Kaufhof department store a 10 minute walk away and used their restaurant and enjoyed gute burgerliche kueche deutscher art. I also went to a local non-franchised pizerria where they made my pizza to my own peculiar taste, and to a Greek gyros/doner takeaway place where I had a couple of sitdown meals.
 
Wine, like truffles, and Turkish/middle eastern carpets is a piss take. The further away from the source the more the item costs.

When I left BAOR I had amassed a collection of around 1000 bottles of wine, mainly bought by the case, initially from Handelshof the local cash and carry, then I started to drop into vineyards direct. I had decided to teach myself something about the wine I was drinking so I learnt a little about quality, vineyards and how much the good stuff cost in the local off licence/supermarket/wine shop. One day I pinged some cases of eiswein for sale in the cash and carry for around DM120 for a case of 6 - I had seen that same stuff being sold by the bottle for around DM80, so I bought some and that was the start. I even did a bit of dealing by taking cases back to the UK when I was going back on leave and made a nice little profit.

I used to go down to St Raphael/Frejus in the Sarf of France on hol's regularly. A mate had done a huge favour for me so I asked him what wine he would like, he told me that his fave was Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Whilst on the way down to St Raphael we swung off and went to the winery where we got a couple of cases at a fiver a bottle. Back in the UK I dropped a case onto my mate and he was more than overjoyed telling me that the stuff I had got for a fiver actually went for 30 quid a bottle in the UK. I kept the other case, tried it, tasted like petrol to me so I gave that to my mate too.

Go up and down the Mosel Valley, or the Rhine Valley and you will find hundreds of winery's all selling their stuff under retail.

As for Turkish carpets the rule of thumb is that from Turkey to Europe increases the price eight fold and take it further to the US and you will see a twelve fold increase in your investment. No different to wine.

Edit to add: We went near Porto a couple of times on holiday. In the huge supermarkets on the outskirts of Porto they sell port that only see's the light of day in the UK in some very expensive vintners. In Porto I was paying 10 to 15 euros for a bottle which would cost around 30 to 50 quid in the UK. The holiday pays for itself.


Indeed, if one is interested in wine the best/least expensive way to buy good stuff is to do it while holidaying/travelling in the region!
When I has a good reasonably paid job, I holidayed several times in France. One time I did the Champagne region staying in Reims, visiting several of the big companies, Moet, Mumm etc which were nice but with limited freebie tastings.
The Best was when I pulled up at Krug, looking around for the reception when a car pulled up and asked us what we wanted. The lady, one of the Krug family told my g/f & I that they only did conducted tours for special groups. When I expressed my disappointment as I always liked their champagne & ordered it in my favourite restaurant in Manchester. (I lied but had been entertained at the Portland Hotel which did a special offer on "Champagne of the month" & had done one on Krug a few months earlier where I had been fortunate enough to have been entertained by an MD who had just sold his company to Knorr for umpteen £ millions and bought our party of 4 some 5 bottles which we consumed over dinner)
She knew the hotel and said as I was a regular my g/f & I could join a party of Americans the following day.
We did and had a very interesting tour and I managed to get through almost 2 bottles of free Krug which even then would have cost over £50 a bottle in the UK (its over £150 now).
Another holiday was in Burgundy, my favourite still wine region, where I spent a couple of days in Beaune where I went around various vineyards on the cote de nuits, picking up a couple of cases of nice Chambolle-Musigny. We then went on to Puligny Montrachet where we spent a couple of nights in Le Monrachet again buying several cases of Puligny Monrachet at about a 1/4 of the UK price. Now both of those wines would cost upwards of £50 a bottle in the UK. Sadly I can only afford 1 bottle very, very occasionally for special occasions, normally drinking cheap cote de Rhone or cheap Chablis on a daily basis!
 
@Ravers (...and others who may be interested), I'm sure you have already seen this as it's you area of business etc....

The missus found this on BBC iPlayer the other day and we've just finished watching the four episodes -
It's 'Alex Polizzi - Chefs on Trial' and it's the story of how The Gilpen appointed it's head chef in 2015.

Interesting for a number of reasons but it goes far deeper than just a chef's competition like GBM or Masterchef - that's great for the winner, but if they don't win they go back to the day job and life goes on. This was real life affecting stuff for all parties. The wrong appointment could potentially adversely affect the venue's reputation for years to come.

Both the wife and I have hired & fired at C-level so know how perilous the wrong decision can be, and how hard it is, and lucky, to get it right. During the first episode we both looked at each other and thanked our lucky stars that we're retired from business now and don't have to go through that stress.

Ravers, I feel for you and the family having to deal with stuff like this - but with it must have come a superb sense of achievement at gaining the star - but as with all things at top level, getting there is the easy part, staying there is when the hard work really starts.
 
I don’t understand wine, I guess my palette isn’t sophisticated enough to differentiate the flavours. I have noticed selected wines with tasting menus, but the price is pushed up significantly.

Is it worth going for the selected wines as a learning experience or will it simply be a waste on a wine heathen such as myself?
 

Rab_C

War Hero
I don’t understand wine, I guess my palette isn’t sophisticated enough to differentiate the flavours. I have noticed selected wines with tasting menus, but the price is pushed up significantly.

Is it worth going for the selected wines as a learning experience or will it simply be a waste on a wine heathen such as myself?
I too am a total novice with wine but go for the accompanying wine flight if going for a taster menu. Provided your server knows his business I think it does enhance the meal rather then just drinking vin plonk with all the courses.
 
I too am a total novice with wine but go for the accompanying wine flight if going for a taster menu. Provided your server knows his business I think it does enhance the meal rather then just drinking vin plonk with all the courses.

Cheers, that’ll be £250 total for me and the missus if/when we go to Raver‘s gaff.
 

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