What 6 Guangzhou Chefs Really Think of the 2018 Michelin Guide

By That's PRD, July 2, 2018

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The first-ever Guangzhou version of the esteemed Michelin Guide has arrived, and people – particularly those in the F&B industry – have opinions. 

In the wake of the Michelin Guide Guangzhou 2018’s launch, we checked in with a number of long-time Guangzhou chefs to get their take on the book and the restaurants featured within – under the condition of strict anonymity, of course. Opinions vary greatly, from those who are happy with the selections to one Guangzhou chef who questioned if the guide is even real.

Be warned: chefs aren’t known for their placid demeanors and this post does contain expletives.

The opinions expressed below are held by individuals and do not represent That's PRD

1. “It’s simply not possible that Michelin rewarded any restaurant in Guangzhou with a star…”

“I used to have a Michelin star back in Germany and already sent an email to them about those rumors regarding Michelin in Guangzhou. [I’m] waiting for their reply, because it’s simply not possible that Michelin rewarded any restaurant in Guangzhou with a star... Let me wait for a reply from Michelin headquarters, I wouldn’t be surprised if I receive an answer different to the [online] posts. Officially, there’s no star rewards published for Guangzhou.”

2. “You don’t want to hear my opinion…”

“You don’t want to hear my opinion on Michelin, it's not for reading.”

3. “It might be the thinnest Michelin Guide in the world...”

“Compared to Michelin Guide France and other countries' guides, I would say it looks a little strange to have so few pages in the book… I’ve already had friends from France message me to say it might be the thinnest Michelin Guide in the world. 

“After the selection, I think it’s correct, I think it’s good to promote the city and Cantonese food. The only thing I’m a little bit sad about is they didn’t open the door a little bit more to give more chances to people [to get in the guide], there are so many good restaurants in Guangzhou. It’s also a little bit strange that there’s not many Western restaurants in the book; to be honest, there’s not a lot of good Western restaurants in Guangzhou, but we still have a couple and they are not mentioned.”

4. “I think more Western restaurants could have been included...”

“I think the Michelin Guide is already too political in Asia, especially in China. When they started in Shanghai, there was a lot of controversy about which restaurants got stars and which didn’t. In this case, Guangzhou’s [guide] is just about Chinese restaurants and that’s okay, because we are in China, but I think more Western restaurants could have been included. With that said, I don’t want to [suggest that] the restaurants that were chosen are bad or don’t deserve [to be included]. 

“The good thing is that the Michelin Guide coming to Guangzhou helps open a lot of doors for [the city’s] restaurants and puts focus on the city.” 

5. “It’s all f*cking bullshit! It has created a lot of negativity...”

“Man, it’s all f*cking bullshit! It has created a lot of negativity. I haven’t seen or heard anything positive. It’s all about negativity in the industry. The way they judge, it’s really funny, they don’t have a standard... Nobody gives a damn about Michelin stars in Guangzhou, anyway.” 

6. “If they do not diversify the next guide… then I think the guide will become irrelevant for this market...”

“Banxi [should have made the guide], not sure how you come to Guangzhou and not include them. [It’s] like going to Lyon and omitting restaurant Paul Bocuse. This city we call home has over 14 million people in it and there are some very diverse cuisines here that were overlooked and not mentioned [in the guide]. There is more to Guangzhou than just Cantonese [cuisine], can I say that? More Western [cuisine should have been included], more of what the city offers besides just the local cuisine. Hopefully the next guide with be more inclusive; if they do not diversify the next guide to showcase the unique and tremendous food Guangzhou offers then I think the guide will become irrelevant for this market.

“For a first guide, [the reviewers] did honor some good spots. They gave me a new hot list to follow up on, as some of [the restaurants] I have yet to dine in.”

READ MORE: We Have Listings for all 63 Michelin-Honored Restaurants in Guangzhou

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