JUNE 25, 2002
Fun in the paddock
THE Michelin Guide Rouge was created in 1900 to provide information for motorists about facilities in areas they were visiting. Initially they were offered for free and provided information about hotels and restaurants and provided maps of the towns but in 1926 the Guide Rouge began to classify restaurants on their quality. The three star system was introduced in 1931 and thereafter the Michelin Guide became the bible for gourmands and a Michelin three star rating became a ticket to fame and fortune for a chef. Today Michelin guides cover the whole of Europe but a Michelin star remains a mark of excellence.
The selection process is highly secretive with inspectors visiting establishments incognito and unannounced. One cannot apply for a star rating.
The Michelin company, however, has a certain amount of leeway and we hear that there are plans to see if the Michelin motorhome in the Formula 1 paddock (a spectacular eatery) could become the first mobile restaurant to be given a star rating. Obviously this would be for prestige alone as customers cannot just walk into the paddock and ask for a table.
The quality of catering in Formula 1 has been reaching increasingly elevated levels in recent years and Renault has even taken to inviting famous chefs to exhibit their flair for the company's guests and for the media.
Although none of the F1 motorhomes are actually charging for meals, one of them did have some fun the other day by issuing receipts to journalists keen on increasing their earnings with fictional meals for the expense accounts.
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