Four chefs from Norway, France, Japan and Spain are fascinated by their profession, and are waiting for special recognition from gastronomical specialists, but these specialists are not ordinary, they are the most famous in the world; The Michelin Guide and its three stars.
Where the movie “The Hunt for the Stars”, presented by Al Jazeera documentary, accompanies you inside and outside the kitchens of their restaurants, how they prepare their dishes, and the smallest details they take care of to obtain the three “Michelin” stars.
But before delving into the chefs’ journeys to soar into the space of the food world, we must start by defining the world of “Michelin” and its three points, and on what basis you give them to restaurants, and why do most chefs and restaurant owners seek to win them?
“Michelin Guide” .. Standards for stardom in the world of restaurants
The “Michelin Guide” is one of the most widespread tourist guides, and its stars have become a source of pride among the chefs who have obtained it. The brothers “Edward” and “Andre Michelin” launched this guide in the beginning of 1900, to help drivers navigate and face vehicle breakdowns, but today it covers “Michelin Guide” extensive information about tourist sites, routes, hotels and restaurants around the world.
Michelin stars do not attach great importance to the design of the restaurant, its equipment, services, or the level and arrangement of dining tables. Rather, it adopts the principle of “what is in the dish”, and therefore it focuses on the “restaurant’s kitchen” and not the “restaurant” itself, and takes five criteria:
Flavor and cooking control.
The uniqueness and privacy of the menu.
Value for price.
Consistency of food level between different visits.
As for the three stars of the Michelin Guide, they take on specific meanings, and each star corresponds to a phrase that links the meaning to the traveler’s journey, as follows:
1 star: Very good restaurant in its own right, this category represents the phrase “worth a pass”.
2 stars: An excellent restaurant with outstanding dishes, represented by the phrase “worth adding to your trip”.
3 stars: An exceptional restaurant that offers a unique experience, and therefore ‘worth a special trip’.
Going back to Star Quest, the four chefs Espen Bang, Maria Marti, Sylvester Waheed and Yoshiro Narisawa do everything they can to win or keep a third star, which makes their restaurants worth a “special trip.” to visit her.
Chef Espen Bang, owner of Maemo restaurant in Norway, has been awarded a third Michelin star
“Espin Bang” .. the youngest to receive the third star
The beginning was with the chef “Espen Bang”, owner of the “Maemo” restaurant in the Norwegian capital Oslo, who says: I am the youngest owner of a restaurant with a third Michelin star at the present time, I did not want to become a chef at all, and I was interested in other subjects in the study, and when I started learning, I worked washing dishes to earn money, and then I liked it and got into this world.
Espen considers his team like his brothers and feels like a band of the army, and he wanted to work in ambitious restaurants, so he searched for Michelin-starred restaurants in Oslo, and he worked hard and found seven days a week, he wanted to learn everything as fast, until he became An obsession for him, and later became a chef at a restaurant that received one Michelin star, before deciding to open his own restaurant.
“I didn’t want to cook anything that was available in Sweden or Denmark, I wanted to make something that can only be found where we grew up, so what does Norway have that everyone else doesn’t have?” says Espen. It’s nature and the past of poverty when they had nothing, it was a matter of survival instinct, and that’s why I love Norway.
In the summer, Espen Bang goes to nature to pick flowers and herbs for use in preparing and decorating his dishes.
Closing the shop for three days.. Time to invent new dishes
He continues: In terms of dishes, there can be no “Maemo” restaurant except in this place, everything like flavors and sauces and every little cooking detail there is room for improvement, we can’t feel satisfied, and this is the secret of our restaurant, when we are satisfied we feel that something is wrong.
The chef says that his inspiration comes from nature, in the summer he goes with his team to nature, to pick flowers and use what works from them in preparing dishes or decorating and even preparing drinks from them, and in order to choose the best you must be present, because you will not get this quality over the phone.
It is noteworthy that Chef Espen decided to close his shop three days a week, not to rest and relax, but to invent new dishes and elevate the restaurant to higher levels, and because he sees in nature the addition, he uses ants in preparing dishes, because it is acidic in nature, it will be an ideal substitute for citric acid.
In addition to flowers and ants, the chef tries to use the fruits and vegetables that Norway is famous for, such as yellow berries, for example, and because its season is short, it is considered valuable, and its dishes are sought after.