We take no pleasure that any good hardworking Restaurant needs to close and that chefs will be disbursed into other jobs and sectors, but this is surely the now the defunct model of chefs spending fortunes on the latest equipment, gadgets, plates in order to achieve the once converted Michelin Star.
Casamia in Bristol has announced that It will close this year with its Chef Zac Hitchman quoted as saying "losing just a few covers per service is often the difference between making a profit and making a loss".
The idea of any business is that you make a product that someone wants to buy in the numbers that will make you a sustainable business. When you are working on plates that cast more than the food, you’re serving then that business model needs to project in a modern buoyant economic environment.
For many years now we have criticised the Michelin model, the often-unstoppable thirst for that accreditation that is seemingly given out more and more without a set of ethics that the customer and owners can adhere to. The massive cost financially and on those that work within that sector.
Once again Michelin is tarnished, and sadly this will not be the last closure. The pandemic should have taught us more and we should now learn this stark message that this level of fine dining is only for those that exclusively dine in that type of restaurant on a regular basis and can easily afford it . It is not and never will be the food of the masses and the more Michelins we have on every street corner the worse the situation will become.
We must ask ourselves is this the result of the economic crisis or simply that Michelin dining has become overpriced and devalued by the amount of television programmes and celebrity chefs pushing food that only a few can afford. In reality many need to double their already high prices in order to keep that star but few can do that and the choice between losing the start and fighting for survival is becoming a daily choice.
Once Michelin was special, the height of culinary art and gastronomic achievement, now there’s simply too many, too much choice in a market that is diminishing rapidly.
Once they were kings but now everyone can see that the Michelin bubble is bursting and only the VERY best will survive.