Simon Wilson debunks the myth of the Michelin star system.

Why do restaurants keep telling us their chefs have worked somewhere with a Michelin star?

I reviewed an Auckland restaurant once in the company of a man who, in my view, has all the attributes needed to be a fine Michelin inspector. Food knowledge: vast and intricately detailed. Obsessed with technicality: oh yes.

He was already there when I arrived, sitting at a table in the doorway, where there was a draft and waiters and customers constantly bumped their way past. Pity about the table they gave us, I said.