“Don’t go chasing accolades and neglecting the business… or you won’t have a business” are the words of advice from CEO of Pied à Terre, David Moore.
The London restaurant is a former holder of two Michelin stars, however, in the last version of the guide for the UK, the restaurant lost one of them. Moore is determined to win the accolade back and is doing everything he can to ensure that when the UK and Ireland guide is announced next month that Pied à Terre reclaims its place as a two-star restaurant.
“When you have one Michelin star, you’re one of 60. When you have two, you’re one of a handful,” he told the BBC.
“And then you’re on an international radar. People coming to London will seek out a two-star Michelin meal. When they’ve got one or two days in London… It’s really, really important.”
Moore’s problem is that he doesn’t know exactly what to do in order to win back the second star.
“Bizarrely, there are no guide-rules to how to get a second star back. We’re in a game where we don’t know the rules." - David Moore
“It’s often said that chefs are chasing the stars and forgetting the business. It’s very easy to lose focus and think that having lobster on the menu will give a two-star Michelin restaurant. It won’t. But you would still get two stars if you were cooking cod”.
You can be giving the customer to much in terms of what’s on the plate, thinking that you’re buying a star and you won’t get the second star by doing that.”
“You only get a second star by staying true to yourself, keeping the quality and showing the artistry of the food.”
Not all restaurateurs are desperate to win back their dropped stars. In July of this year the gastronomic world was shaken by the news that Marc Veyrat, the chef at La Maison des Bois in Manigod (Haute-Savoie, France), wished to hand back his Michelin stars.
The chef had held three stars but had recently lost one of them, he claimed the effect of losing it was to make him depressed.
In his letter published in Le Point, Marc Veyrat denounced "the deep incompetence" of inspectors and the Michelin guide in general, recalling some false claims according to him: "They dared to say that we put cheddar in our soufflé of reblochon, Beaufort and tomme! They have insulted our region, my employees were furious! ... "When we have eggs from our chickens, milk from our cows, and two botanists collect our plants every morning!", he siad.