The Leaky Michelin Tire: Who Was Really First? And Does It Matter?

The Leaky Michelin Tire:  Who Was Really First? And Does It Matter?
The leaks springing from Michelin-Rouge Central have been flooding the media. No new three-stars, lots of new cheapos, no real demotions. Now, a few months ago, an American poster accused American bloggers of ruining French dining by competing to be #1 at the newly opened restos and bistros in Paris. He clearly hasn’t come often to Paris in the past 30 years and seen the evolution or revolution in information dissemination that has transpired. Things here did used to be very civilized and orderly in say the 1960s and 1970s : one read Le Monde for what was good, albeit not necessarily new, and waited patiently for the Michelin Rouge to appear in March. Oh, of course Gault-Millau and Pudlo and Lebey began to infringe on the territory but it was still watch and wait. And then François Simon, in 1987, had a brilliant idea – do a weekly supplement to Le Figaro that would feature new restaurant openings, films and art exhibitions, etc. The world turned. Now, not only his creation, Figaroscope, competed to be the first to review places, but in short order l’Express and A Nous Paris got into the act. Zurban, an internet pub in the beginning (2000), competed with the best of them and soon became a print sensation for the 20- and 30-year-old “bobo” crowd.” Long before Facebook and Twitter, websites and blogs were onto the chase. By now, the cry of “I found it first,” “No, me,” has become grating. So I suppose it is no surprise that following the leaks (some accurately and some mistakenly published) of this year’s Michelin, the reputable blog-collective (disclosure: I’m a co-conspirator on it) Paris by Mouth reported today that ”Stéphane Riss and François Simon both got up very early to post the full results online. Riss claims to have been first….” Does it really matter who found Spring or learned that Hélène Darroze had justly been kept in her place for another year? In the larger scheme of things, no. But in the micro-climate of egos (read penises, because all the competitors are males, most in their fertile years), it certainly does. On this day of “me first”, we ate at the ever-creative and one-star: Ze Kitchen Galerie 4, rue des Grands Augustins, 6th (Métro: Saint Michel) T: 01 44 32 00 32 Closed Saturday lunch and Sundays. Menus: 26.50-39 (lunch), 80 (dinner) and à la carte 90 €.   Blog: John Talbott’s Paris ©by John Talbott 2010  

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