Culinary critic Thierry Daraize deplores the controversy surrounding the choice of chef Joël Robuchon.
The Casino de Montréal has fetched the “Sidney Crosby” of gastronomy to run their new controversial restaurant, says a Montreal culinary critic, who believes that no Quebec chef would have been unanimous.
The opening of a high-end restaurant by renowned French chef Joël Robuchon last December (thanks to an $ 11 million no-tender contract from the Casino de Montréal), raised an outcry on the Montreal culinary scene in December.
“In the end, this story is bad for everyone.” criticizes culinary critic Thierry Daraize.
Voices could be heard from all sides the day after Loto-Québec’s announcement, denouncing the choice of a foreign chef while Quebec’s culinary scene is full of talent.
“People came up against the fact that we did not make the decision to put forward a chief from here, to carry him and to raise him up. But the chosen one who had been chosen would have been crucified anyway. None of them would have been a unanimous choice, “says Daraize, referring to the intense competition that prevails in Quebec’s culinary environment.
The critic would have preferred that the Casino choose a chief from the province, but he admits that the corporation’s decision is logical.
“No local chef, even with all his talent and passion, has the global reach and experience of
Mr. Robuchon. He is a goldsmith, “says Daraize
The $ 11-million contract was denounced at the National Assembly by the Parti Quebecois and the Coalition Future Quebec this week. Finance Minister Carlos Leitao, however, defended this decision, arguing that Montreal will benefit from Chief Robuchon’s influence.
“It’s still public money. Why should we pay $ 11 million while some people have nothing to eat? Morally, it’s hard to justify, “says the critic.
According to him, it is too early to say whether this spending of public money is justified. It will be necessary to wait to see the economic spin-offs and the real impact of the restaurant on the city’s “prestige”.
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