Monday, 2 February 2009

Northern Ireland Michelin Star 2009

Once again, to his credit, Michael Deane has retained the coveted Michelin Star for Belfast and Northern Ireland. Here is the 2009 List for the British Isles.

Some clues as to the arcane requisite criteria for the achievement of Michelin Stars can be read here. One fundamental principle is the use of local ingredients, for instance.

Deanes is the only restaurant, which meets the Michelin standards, to be awarded one star.

I know that there are many good restaurants and so-called gastro-pubs throughout the Province. How many of them even apply for a Michelin Star; or are turned down?

I still think it is disappointing that we have only one restaurant with a Michelin Star. My conclusion is that the culinary standards in Northern Ireland are simply unworthy of the Star - let alone two or three.

It begs the question: How can Deanes consistently retain the Star; whereas others are, apparently, incapable of this feat? Are Michelin standards too high for most restaurateurs here? Are they frankly not bothered about achieving a Star? Are they more motivated about churning out meals with high profit margins?

I specifically allude to restaurateurs, as distinct from chefs, because the proverbial buck stops with the proprietor. There are doubtless many exceedingly talented chefs in the Province who simply haven't been provided with the resources to achieve three-star standards.

How can Gordon Ramsay and Heston Blumenthal earn two stars and three stars for their establishments, while restaurateurs in Northern Ireland cannot?

I seek enlightenment and would welcome views about culinary standards of excellence in Belfast and Northern Ireland. Am I being unfair? I have just read an interesting insight here, by Michael Deane himself.

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