Michelin Stars: The Madness of Perfection


How relevant are the Michelin Stars? This documentary investigates the dramatic effects the classification can have on restaurants.

“Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.” That’s what three Michelin stars means, first published in the Michelin guidebook over 100 years ago. Its aim was to help motorists locate petrol stations and find a place to eat while they were waiting to have a tyre changed.

Do we really care about poncey food? Is it possible to get a star for a good steak and chip? Or is the Michelin Guide just a harmful influence? Does seeking these stars lead to dangerous obsessions? William Sitwell takes us behind the scenes to find out the answers to this phenomenon. See what it takes to get to this prestige level, from the precise placing of foods on a plate, to the all important presentation of today’s entrĂ©e. In France, Sitwell meets the widow of the celebrated chef whose passion for food and perfection, cost him his life.

We also meet the strictly anonymous people are who are in-charge of rewarding the stars. One senior British Michelin inspector confesses to enjoying the anonymity, likening himself to a secret agent, ‘licensed to eat’.

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