A Non-Macaroon-Worthy Affair

IMG_2307.JPGLast week, on the very cusp of the release of the new Michelin Guide, we made a decidedly simple supper of Cheese and Salami Salad Sandwiches. The only thing Michelin-y about this meal is that the onions we used in the salad are red and the book has a red cover. But we laced the sandwiches with arugula which poshed them up a bit.

There is an interesting post on another blogger’s site commenting on an article written about the release of the new publication. The article was fairly à propos for me as I am nearly finished reading The Perfectionist: Life and Death in Haute Cuisine which describes the life and death of Bernard Loiseau, a 3-Star chef who suffered from bipolar disorder and sadly committed suicide upon the loss of one of his stars. The book has proved really fascinating to me and enlightening in terms of the culture and history of French cuisine. Plus, I am now able to recognize some names of prominent chefs of the past and know more about the big name chefs of today- their background, influences, inspirations, styles.

The blogger, Pim, provides some insight into the serious foodie world as she lives in San Francisco and has an enviable lifestyle which involves traveling for work and she is, therefore, able to actually visit some of the restaurants in the guide. Meanwhile, I shall continue to pine away in coldest Canada (it is snowing outside my office window as I type this.) In her comments, and in the article itself, I find myself particularly curious about the choice some chefs are making nowadays to “dumb down” the cuisine and focus less on obtaining a macaroon (as the Michelin stars are nick-named) and more on providing client-friendly food and atmosphere. I’ve never been to an étoil-ed restaurant (though sometime, before I die, I will have!) so I really don’t have an understanding of what, exactly, makes these restaurants so special– written like a true plebian. I would imagine that half of the refinements which elevate an establishment above its peers would be lost on me. Still, I am curious enough to put it on my life’s to do list.

At any rate, our meal was very pretty, though a little heavy on the red wine vinegar. When I make this again, it will be with smoked Gouda, instead of plain, and with fewer capers, as well.

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