Chef Rejects Michelin Star

March 11, 2017

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. exceptional ɪkˈsɛp ʃə nl / (adj.) – displaying excellent quality
Example: The chef displayed her exceptional skills during the cooking show.   

2. waive / weɪv / (v.) – to surrender a right, claim, or ownership
Example: The winner waived his prize and asked the organizers to donate it to charity instead.

3. outweigh / ˌaʊtˈweɪ / (v.) – to be greater than something
Example: The good results of the project outweighed the difficulties encountered.

4. impeccable / ɪmˈpɛk ə bəl / (adj.) – characteristic of having no error
Example: The applicant’s impeccable fashion sense impressed the interviewers.  

5. relevance /ˈrɛl ə vəns /  (n.) – the state of being related to something in a certain way
Example: Some traditional cooking methods still have relevance in today’s modern kitchens.


Read the text below.
A Belgian chef has turned down a Michelin star for restaurant A’Qi [EY chœ].

Karen Keygnaert [KEE-NURT], a renowned chef in Flanders, Belgium, received a Michelin [MI-shuh luhn] star for her restaurant A’Qi, which serves Asian-Western fusion cuisine.

The Michelin star is a status granted by French tire manufacturing company Michelin to restaurants that exhibit remarkable dining quality. A restaurant is judged based on the quality of dishes, cooking strategies, reflection of the chef’s personality on the cuisine, value for money, and product consistency. The rating is as follows: one star for very good, two stars for excellent, and three stars for exceptional.

A’Qi had been a Michelin-starred restaurant for five years. However, the chef decided to waive the restaurant rating this year after arguing that the disadvantages of a Michelin star outweigh its advantages. According to Keygnaert, having a Michelin star comes with unrealistic expectations from guests, such as impeccable service and extravagant cuisine.

Chef Keygnaert is not the first restaurant owner to reject a Michelin star. Famous British chef Marco Pierre White returned his three Michelin stars after questioning the credibility of critics, who he said had inferior culinary skills.

In addition to rejecting the Michelin star, Keygnaert doubted the relevance of Michelin's system of awarding stars to restaurants. The system was originally part of a guidebook sold to motorists to recommend restaurants. However, the guidebook is no longer practical as people now have several means of discovering places to eat.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Would you be more encouraged to visit a restaurant that has a Michelin star? Why or why not?
·         How do people usually get restaurant recommendations?

Discussion B

·         Aside from dining out, in what other situations do recommendations matter?
·         Do recommendations from other people influence your decision-making? Explain. 

March 11, 2017