The gastronomic guides.
Making a guide gastronomical It contains a series of elements to take into account, whose evaluation, in search of the equity that should preside over the councils that take place in it, is not always without influence.
Let's see first, what are the groups that intervene and exist around the world of the gastronomic guides, to which we will stick. The basic principle of the realization of a guide is that it must serve to guide the user, along the path of finding a sound criterion in choosing the desired service or destination. Therefore, we must deduce that the most important group will be formed by those who consult the publication, who try to form their criteria for the enjoyment of the destination gastronomic more correct. All this based on a series of variables (Prices, types kitchen, location, etc.).
The second group to take into account is made up of professionals, who offer services from a business perspective. As a principle, these professionals should be aware that it is not they who determine their inclusion in the guides, and therefore, the opinion they deserve. They are the managers and makers of the guides, who set the criteria to transmit to consumers. This principle of action is not usually easily understood by chefs and managers of establishments, who consider that the Guides owe their existence to the development of their activity, which, if they did not exist, would not have resulted in the publication being able to see the light. Being true in a general way, it is not true when it is particularized in a particular restaurant or establishment.
The third group includes their own editors of the guide. The philosophy to be applied, the sometimes economic and sometimes simply socio-political interests, the economic-financial difficulties that weaken pressure-free positions, are factors that will decisively influence the result of reliable guidance in the search for the best customer service.
Finally, it is important to analyze the existence of the so-called guideline inspectors, who are the direct executors of the classifications and opinions that later transcend the current publication, either in full or with the modifications deemed appropriate by the editors.
Let's see what are the factors that could influence an alleged fair publication of the merits or demerits of the establishments subject to qualification.
Returning to the first group, this is the consumer looking for the delight of a good gastronomic day, it is really difficult to try to marry the different opinions, tastes and gastronomic knowledge. Nor is it about making everyone happy, but rather exposing the characteristics of a certain establishment so that later it is the client who chooses. Clarity in the expression, the wisdom of the comment, and in general the information provided, will be the keys for the Guide to like and be successful. The possible influence of the client on the focus of the guide will focus on the characteristics of the environment in which the restoration activity takes place. This is a fact in local guides, which tend to exalt certain types of restoration to the detriment of others, a point to which publishers pay attention because you have to think about selling the edition ...
Cooks or restaurateurs have an innate tendency to condition the guide's evaluations. On the one hand, it must be borne in mind that they really are the ones who are in some way risking their fame and hence their “cooked”. On the other hand, it must be admitted that their level of professionalism is normally above those who value their work. This aspect is clearly evident in the development of culinary techniques, and not so much in the realization and culmination of the different flavorings. In the latter case factors such as taste, knowledge of the interconnections of flavors, and ultimately, what art has gastronomy intervene. Dedication to restaurant and your kitchen, is a very important aspect that is marked by the search for the necessary profitability of the activity.
Let me explain: how is it possible to qualify the culinary (non-business) merit of, for example, an Alain Ducasse with thirteen restaurants own across the planet, offering a philosophy as disparate as the one that we can theoretically find in the Auberge d'Iparla (Bidarray) and the one that presumably exists in AD New York, the Spoon in Japan, Paris or London, or at the Bar & Boeuf in Monaco, etc. Certainly, a good part of the credit will go to the chefs who run each establishment, and not to the good of A. Ducasse, since control by one person is practically impossible. The medals, however, are not distributed ... You will agree with me that when evaluating these "monsters" of restoration, the issue is not easy, and the pressure on the evaluation of the guides is evident.At other levels, the start of a simple establishment is already positively valued, with the effort and risk that it entails. And this supposes that it is not admissible that a qualification carried out with more or less lightness, more or less studied, destroys the sacrifice and dedication provided. Just as cooks must be required not to rest on the laurels of fame, they must be given a margin of confidence when they have reached certain levels.
When analyzing the group of publishers, their evaluations are affected for reasons that are either social or economic. Among the former, the objective of achieving social recognition is remarkable, which will be difficult to maintain, and for which they will have to use their best arts. The gastronomy In general, as an art or a hobby to eat giftedly, there are as many opinions as there are palates. In this sense and to summarize, you should not go against renovating currents, and at the same time not abandon the culinary tradition ... The economic reasons tend to emerge when it comes to achieving results. Without forgetting the influence of possible sponsors, the cost of a guide is very important if the job is to be carried out with full guarantees of impartiality. The account is easy: multiply the number of establishments to be qualified by an increasingly higher cost of lunches, and the resulting figures are really important. At this point, trimming costs It makes the evaluations suffer, sometimes because the group is not covered with a significant number of visits, and other times because not excessively qualified personnel intervene, which is normally cheaper ... In the end everything influences.
Last, but not least, is the performance of the inspectors. They try to mediate this group everywhere: the cooks who show their demonstrations of well-doing in full view of the inspector, or they come to disdain him by not agreeing with his qualifications. Let's not say anything about the attempts and realizations of "bribes" in the form of invitations. Editors are not left behind, moved by their reasons and pressures received, condition the conclusions of those who are doing field work (sometimes "battle"). It is also necessary to take into account the difficulty of covering each and every one of the establishments assigned to it. To this must be added that if one wants to be fair and equitable, a correct rating would require more than one visit. A notable influence is reflected by the necessary subjectivity in the judgment. It is simply impossible to renounce these subjective aspects whose component is very complex, since it will depend on the training the taste, the education received, the environment etc. Being purely objective is an entelechy.
In plain sight, then, in this shallow Insights, the difficulties of doing a correct job. All the considerations made fit into the problem of creating the guides, but there is certainly more. It is not about taking sides with one or the other, but simply getting an idea of the difficulties that a good guide represents, especially gastronomic.
Published by: Inigo Zarauz