Food guide still has a starring role

The announcement that Restaurant Andre would close in February next year was unexpected (Chef's move to close acclaimed restaurant stuns industry; Oct 12).

Underlying this is the wider and perennial discourse surrounding chefs who ask to be excluded from the Michelin Guide and those who choose to return their stars.

This appears to run contrary to all that is logical.

But I see it as a personal expression of resolve to pursue something or other.

There could be many reasons why chefs refuse the Michelin star, but at the core is probably a deeply personal decision that is not easily made.

Implicit to all this is the question of whether the Michelin Guide is still relevant today.

I would argue that it is.

Michelin stars remain coveted by many aspiring and established chefs and restaurants.

Being listed in the guide elevates a chef and restaurant onto the world stage and opens doors. It is a mark of progression, distinction and excellence.

There is still magic in hard work, good luck and achievements.Everyone should remember to look out for it and celebrate it.

For foodies, the guide is a compass to help them explore the ever-growing culinary world.

There have been some Michelin-starred restaurants that were not to my tastes, but the Bib Gourmand Tokyo recently helped me to discover a superb yakitori joint in the neighbourhood of Ebisu that I enjoyed thoroughly.

Lydia Kung (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 16, 2017, with the headline 'Food guide still has a starring role'. Print Edition | Subscribe