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Thoughts on Michelin 2023

Written By Scott Joseph On May 12, 2023

Michelin Awards Ceremony Miami

MIAMI – Some thoughts on the Michelin Guide “star reveal” ceremony Thursday evening at LoanDepot Park:

For a major international corporation, Michelin, as evidenced by the quality of the ceremony, is pretty amateurish. The production was marred by sound snafus, missing graphics, wrong graphics, nonreponsive teleprompter operators, a mid-presentation stall-for-time by an off-stage host, and long stretches of dead air while the hosts waited for winners to make their way to the stage, take off the sport coats they were wearing to put on a Michelin chef’s jacket, then stand silently for photos. If the ceremony had been a tire it would have been unpatchable.

The concourse overlooking the third base at LoanDepot Park, with its multi-story open-air view of the Miami skyline, is a really cool place to hold an event.

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Michelin Awards Ceremony Miami field

Michelin Awards Ceremony Miami

 

The first hour of the event was devoted to schmoozing, drinking and nibbling appetizers and small bites from some of the few restaurants and sponsors who were invited to participate. Z Asian restaurant, a two-year Bib Gourmand winner, was the only Orlando representative. Hien Q. Pham, above left with his wife and the restaurant’s chef, Huong Nguyen, served Sunrise Scallops and Zelicious Mussels in the shell. (Amazingly, Z Asian’s website makes no mention of its Michelin Guide designation – any marketing experts out there able to help them out?)

Michelin Awards Ceremony Miami

Michelin seemed to be making a correction of sorts by awarding three Tampa restaurants a star (the region was starless in the inaugural book) and none to any new Orlando restaurants. Tampa now has three starred restaurants – including Lilac, whose chef/partner John Fraser is pictured above just following the announcement – to Orlando’s four. Miami has 12 starred restaurants.

Miami’s L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon – which, with 11 locations, more than fits the definition of a chain – remains the only Florida restaurant with two stars. (Three stars is the highest designation.)

There are many, many (rechecks list) many Central Florida restaurants deserving to be listed in the Michelin Guide. We can assume that there are few inspectors dedicated to checking dining in Central Florida, if indeed there is even just one – the organization is not forthcoming with details on the process – so it stands to reason that some of those restaurants just haven’t been visited yet.

That an inspector visited Victoria & Albert’s and did not award it at least one star is gobsmackingly astounding. Is it that the inspector harbors the same prejudices that we suspect other awards programs have (I’m looking at you, James Beard)? In a message Friday, Scott Hunnel, who was the longtime executive chef at Victoria & Albert’s and now oversees culinary operations at the Grand Floridian and other resorts, said: “I talked to the V&A team (and) told them to keep doing what they do. Continue the evolution and create an excellent world-class guest experience.”

Michelin Awards Ceremony Miami

Speaking of prejudice, the winners, especially among the starred chefs, are overwhelmingly male. One fresh exception is Malyna Si of Capa Steakhouse at the Four Seasons Resort (which is Disney adjacent and apparently not tarnished). Si is pictured above with Michael Collantes of Soseki. Both restaurants retained the stars they received last year. Soseki’s Benjamin Coutts received the Michelin Sommelier Award.

So I guess Soseki can say it has two stars.

We hope you find our reviews and news articles useful and entertaining. It has always been our goal to assist you in making informed decisions when spending your dining dollars. If we’ve helped you in any way, please consider making a contribution to help us continue our journalism. Thank you.

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