Wednesday 06 July 2022

Hard pressed Michelin inspectors ate as much in months as in whole year

A Limburg restaurant which was only open for a few months and had to close down again because of corona measures bagged two stars based on a visit by a Michelin inspector ‘every single day it was open’, international Michelin director Gwendal Poullennec said at Monday’s official 2021 award ceremony at the Nieuwe DeLaMar theatre in Amsterdam.

Chef Hans van Wolde’s restaurant Brut172 in Reijmerstok in Limburg was not the only object of ‘the exceptional investment’ by an army of inspectors this year, Poullennec said, explaining why Michelin had decided to bring out a guide when so many restaurants had only been open for a short time.

The inspectors had a meal at every selected restaurant on every opening day, he said, effectively compressing the time they would normally spend sampling dishes. The new, up to date selection would encourage people to go and visit the restaurants as soon as the rules would be relaxed, and would encourage and motivate chefs, Poullennec said.

Brut172 chef Hans van Wolde said he had expected one star but ‘getting two in one go was a very special and a proud moment for Limburg’.

Thomas Groot and Richard van Oostenbrugge of restaurant 212 in Amsterdam already had one star and bagged a second for their exceptional offerings.

The chefs were not surprised by the awards because, due to a technical hitch the results had been shown on the Michelin app early as Saturday. ‘I was in the shower when I heard my phone bleeping, chef Pieter de Ronde of  Pieter’s Restaurant in Bergambacht said. ‘I thought the place had gone up in flames’, he said.

His was one of eight new star listings in the new Michelin guide, including one for the Rotterdam venue Zeezout, whose chef Patrick ‘t Hart said that after 23 years he did not think ‘it would ever happen’. ‘Maybe they were a bit slow on the uptake’, he said.

Another eight restaurants were given the newly introduced green star for sustainability, for instance for growing their own vegetables or sourcing products locally.

Restaurants which closed their doors completely lost their stars.

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