I have a passion for all things good in life- be it travel, food, watching plays& films, photography, drinking champagne or just getting pampered in a Spa. Luckily being a Hotel Management graduate, an ex-chef, nutritionist and a journalist, I am eminently qualified to do my job of writing and sharing experiences. My blog is my world and my posts are my straightforward thoughts...come along with me on my culinary voyage!
A study revealed that the award of a Michelin star rests almost entirely on the culinary skills of the chef, who is usually also the owner. According to Michelin, stars reflect “what’s on the plate and only what’s on the plate”. Other criteria, such as ambience and service, are indicated by fork and spoon symbols, and do not affect star ratings. However, the Michelin offers no written criteria for its star ratings, and the system is complex. In addition to excellence in food, tradition seems to be a large element in gaining or retaining a star rating. Exquisitely planned and executed food, timely and friendly service and the overall passion and excitement that ooze from a restaurant, sure seem to be some of the reasons for winning dining accolades. That said, with these winners the motive is not to feed the stomach but the soul. When this being the objective, the resulting ambience and service provided create a unique environment….
The 2010 awards, which were announced at the Guildhall in London, proclaimed these as the Top 5 in the Michelin Guide….!
DID YOU KNOW?
• The maximum Michelin stars a restaurant (not the chef) can obtain are 3.
Michelin give their stars the following meaning:
*** Exceptional kitchen, worth the travel.
** Refined kitchen, worth a detour.
* A very good restaurant.
• The Michelin star rating is the most recognized rating system in the culinary world for all of Western Europe.
• Since 1955, the guide has also highlighted restaurants offering “good food at moderate prices”, a feature now called “Bib Gourmand”.
• The Michelin guides were originally produced for motorists in France by the Michelin tyre company.
• The Rising Star distinction, introduced in 2006, highlights the best restaurants in each category, which may move up to the next level soon.
LOCATION-Two Michelin starred Noma, is built in an elegant 18th century warehouse situated on the docks far from the madding crowd and is the perfect place for a culinary sojourn of Danish food. The name “Noma” is an acronym of the two Nordic words “Nordisk”, alias Nordic, and “Mad”, aka food.
THE CHEF- After cooking at some of the worlds most prestigious restaurants, including under Ferran Adria at El bulli and Thomas Keller at The French Laundry, 32 year old Rene Redzepi became chef and co-founder of Noma in 2003.
THE FOOD- Redzepi has tailored traditional, regional spirit to the modern gourmet with the accomplishment of an enthusiastic chef in search of new experiences and has created dishes like radishes in edible soil and sea buckthorn leather and hip roses. Noma’s bread which is served with “virgin” butter and pork fat with scratching is a fine meal in itself.
USP- Noma’s success can be attributed to Redzepi’s in depth knowledge of the produce of his Nordic terroir. His unbending attitude towards cooking seasonally and locally has ensured him the top position in the Michelin guide.
NOMA, Strandgade 93
1401 Copenhagen K, Denmark
Tel: +45 3296 3297
Lunch: Tuesday-Saturday: 12.00pm to 4.00pm.
Dinner: Tuesday-Saturday: 6.30 pm to 10.00 pm
Average cost of a meal per person: 220 Pounds with wine. (Approx 17,500 INR)
LOCATION- This three Michelin starred restaurant is set across beautiful, green hills and right by the water above the seaside town of Roses on the Costa Brava, it is a somewhat hair-raising drive up a narrow one track road that seems to go on forever before the restaurant finally hovers into view. That said, after you have had over a dozen memorable dishes for which you would happily allow yourself to be driven along a tortuous road.
THE CHEF- Ferran Adria is known for his Avant Garde approach to cooking which uses hi tech methods to “deconstruct” and rebuild ingredients in surprising ways. He is always there in his restaurant, a rarity these days: a celebrity chef who actually cooks!
THE FOOD- There are more people in the kitchen than there are customers which is justified as each menu comprises more than 30 dishes per table, most of them eaten in a bite or two, one is swung from sweet to savoury and back, the dishes oscillating from ambient to frozen to hot to frozen again. Food here is a fast paced dining rollercoaster, with explosive flavors and textural surprises that await you at every turn Famous for ethereal foams, which aim to capture the essence of a flavour, will leave anyone spellbound.
USP- No other restaurant that I know opens for such a short period, from end April to October, which allows their laboratory in Barcelona to create a vast number of new dishes over the winter for the following year.
PLEASE NOTE- The restaurant is closing next July (2012) or rather switching direction to become a culinary foundation once Adria returns from a two and half year break.
EL BULLI, Cala Montjoi, Roses, Spain
Tel: 972 15 04 57
Opening hours: Open from April to October for dinner only.
Average cost of a meal per person: 270 Euros with wine. (Approx 17,600 INR)
LOCATION-Tucked away in the ivy strewn embrace of Bray a quaint village where the vibrancy of the many rose bushes sprout up in blazing, unabashed crimson along the meandering, moss covered footpaths, this simple three Michelin star Restaurant stands in all its grace.
THE CHEF- Chef Heston Blumenthal has been described as a culinary alchemist for his innovative style of cuisine. He is also referred to as a Mad Hatter; the consummate (power) pourer of the Tea of Possibilities that will be forever brewing.
THE FOOD- The tasting menu serves about a dozen courses such as snail porridge; salmon poached in licorice gel; and the famed Sound of the Sea, where customers don earphones and listen to lapping waves while consuming seafood washed up on what looks like a beach. The sand is, in fact, a mix of tapioca and fried Japanese breadcrumbs. One would rarely come across a dish for which sound is an integral part of the experience…truly the food here is a joy for all the senses.
USP- Chef Blumenthal’s teaches one how the senses are far more selective and subjective than we think, and then have fun thinking like he does to create a Wonderland on your plate! Just the thinking alone will bring about a change in perception regarding food and tasting and flavours and one’s palate. It is not just a meal here, it is a performance of excellence and it motivates a level of personal response and involvement that nestles a new awareness within.
THE FAT DUCK, High Street, Bray, Berkshire, SL6 2AQ (U.K.)
Tel: +44 (0) 1628 580 333 between 10.00am and 5.00pm
The restaurant is closed on Sunday evening and all day Monday.
Tuesday to Sunday Lunch- 12noon to last order 2pm
Average cost of a meal per person -220 Pounds with wine. (Approx 17,500 INR)
EL CELLER DE CAN ROCA
LOCATION- About 2km from the town’s main boulevard, this three Michelin star restaurant has transformed Girona into one of the more trendy cities of Spain. The building itself is magnificent as you enter and stare at a colonial Spanish building, fully restored to its former glory.
THE CHEF- The place is run by three brothers; Joan Roca is the head chef with an interest in modern technology. Josep Roca is the maitre d’ and head sommelier, and Jordi Roca is the pastry chef, but the food is far from homey, and the space is decidedly modern.
THE FOOD- From caramelized olives stuffed with anchovies hanging on hoops from a bonsai like olive tree to mini omelettes with a bursting caviar centre every dish is a pleasant surprise and leaves you eagerly anticipating the next.
USP- From beginning to the end, El Celler De Can Roca delivers a thoughtful and delicious meal with just enough punches to keep one excited.
EL CELLER DE CAN ROCA, Can Sunyer 48, Girona, 17007, Spain.
Tel: 972 22 21 57
Everyday 1-4pm, 8.30-11pm. closed on Sundays and Mondays during the first half of July and during the Christmas period.
Average cost of a meal per person: The signature dishes menu (three courses and one pudding) costs 95 euros (Approx 6175 INR) and the tasting menu with wine (five courses and two puddings) is 160 euros (Approx 10,400 INR)
LOCATION- The restaurant is set high in the countryside hills of Donostia, behind San Sebastian. There’s a rural feel to the surroundings and the fact that you are about to eat at a Two Michelin star is quite a surreal feeling as one watches sheep grazing and listens to the tractors chugging past.
THE CHEF-Andoni Luis Aduriz at 36 years of age has mastered the molecular and rationalized it back to the coherent. He terms his cuisine “technomotion”, combining the words technology and emotion, creating dishes that tantalize not only the palate but also the mind.
THE FOOD- Aduriz’s cuisine features creations like edible “ceramic”, vegetables that have been carbonized into “coal” and tough and chewy cuts of meat that have been made fork-tender by cooking them sous vide (slow cooking in a plastic)for 35 hours. A dish synonymous with Mugaritz, “Rocks” are actually potatoes baked in an edible clay shell. To complete the illusion, there are actual rocks at the bottom of the dish. Vanilla foam with a warm “tablet” made with honey and oats, mimics a bar of soap and soap bubbles.
USP- The chefs are from all over the world and bring back indigenous spices and herbs which are then incorporated into the menus. The herbs are planted and grown in Mugaritz’s herb garden. Basically they import ingredients but not ideas. It is known to be the world’s most original restaurant, beyond creative but still “organic” as opposed to science experiments.