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Accolades should be celebrated with gusto

By Joris Minne

Published 17/09/2015

People get hernias arguing over whether or not Michelin stars matter to a restaurant.

Even in France there is an anti-Michelin movement that argues the system is ruining the point of eating out, which is to relax and enjoy yourself.

But the fact is that if a city has a Michelin-starred restaurant, it is evidence that there is a culinary culture - a sense for food and for eating out and a degree of sophistication in that city that indicates to visitors and investors that the place must be attractive. For city tourism chiefs, having two Michelin-starred restaurants proves that Belfast is on a par with top European cities and strengthens the marketing effort.

So whatever we think and however irritated we may have been by Michelin's repeated snubs of our great restaurant sector, the fact that Belfast has two stars and that those two stars are the result of the work of two young chefs - Stevie Tolman in Ox and Danni Barry in Eipic - is cause for fireworks, an extra bank holiday and an open bus celebratory parade through the streets.

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