Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Three hats or two?

The Sydney Morning Herald's Good Food Guide has announced it's 2011 'hatted' ratings for NSW restaurants. A couple of very famous names have been downgraded from Three Hats (the top rating) and predictably were not happy at the news. At least one was reported to have walked out of the announcements function upon hearing the decision and has since ridiculed the judgements. Some other chefs have echoed that criticism thereby lending some credence to the views.

I have no pretensions as an expert on food and therefore would not offer a comment on whether the criticism is justified. However, as an impartial observer I note that these chefs maintained their top ratings for some years without, to my recollection, calling the judgement process into question during that period. Their sudden lack of confidence in the process just when they were downgraded might therefore be looked upon as 'sour grapes'.

Interestingly, the two most famous names downgraded, amongst others, both appeared during the year as expert guest tutors and guides in the popular television cooking contest 'Masterchef'. I wonder whether snobbery - or inverted snobbery - played any role in the downgrades?

I suppose the bottom line is that any assessment based purely on personal judgement is always open to question and debate.

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