Avec leurs voisins mangeurs de grenouilles et rois auto-proclamés de la gastronomie internationale, il faut avouer que les chefs d’outre-manche ont bien du mal à se faire un nom. Pourtant, depuis quelques années, le fameux guide Michelin récompense de plus en plus d’établissements au Royaume-Uni. L’occasion d’une nouvelle rivalité franco-britannique…
Few people can name a famous dish of British gastronomy, yet British cuisine is on the rise. Indeed several institutions have received a star from the Michelin guide. 14 stars were issued, including six in London, but these results are not yet up to British expectations. Indeed, Britain has an advantage that it does not use enough: its diversity. Due to Britain’s colonial past, Britain’s culinary tradition include Pakistani or Indian gastronomies, for example. Ambitious young chefs have certainly tried to use this asset, like “the Young Turks” and their Clove Club, but the company is not yet sufficiently well-ordered to have an international reputation, says Rebecca Burr editor of the guide of Great Britain and Ireland. Rebecca Burr added that it is disappointing that there are no new two- or three-star establishments. But how can the new challenges of modern cuisine be faced, with increased pressure to remain competitive? This challenge is all the more difficult as neighbouring France’s gastronomy is still renowned as the best in the world!
In any case, for decades the Michelin guide has been a global institution. It is as much about Asian cuisine as it is about British or French gastronomy. But the guide is often accused of being biased and unreliable. Indeed, one can legitimately assume France has long been favoured. Michelin, however, can now argue France is no longer the country with the highest number of stars. Japan is!
But the problem that arises is not so much the attribution of a star, but rather the number of “three-star” restaurants, the ultimate mark of prestige. And therein lies the rub: the United Kingdom can be satisfied to be better listed every year, but the number of three-star restaurants remains very low compared to France. In 2013, France counted 27 three-star, 82 two-star and 487 one-star restaurants. Meanwhile the UK listed only 4 three-star, 16 two-star and 125 one-star restaurants.
Fortunately, English gastronomy counts real stars who reflect British style, just like Gordon Ramsay. He is very talented and knows how to communicate on Britain’s culinary traditions with American shows such as MasterChef or Hell’s Kitchen. Thanks to his incredible success, he opened multiple restaurants in the United Kingdom and all over the world. But his best restaurant is the Trianon Palace in….Versailles, France!
So, can British cuisine do without France’s recognition?
Oussama BEN DHIAB & Clément MYROPE