Statement of Purpose

We understand that the gourmet press must respect two absolute values: credibility and independence. It is essential to trust the reader. Other important factors follow, such as the criteria and the thought process that distinguish each publication. There is no need for all to agree on taste or ideas, nor must all have the same culture or professional background. There are those who take pleasure in conservatism and luxury, while others, like us, put their faith in a world of perpetual revision and constant evolution, inclusive of society as a whole. There are those who take the status quo as a given, while we believe in dynamism and new generations. There are those who practice French cultural imperialism, others who attach themselves to Hispanic populism or idolize “mamma mia”; we place individuals and their work above labels and influences. There are those who seek to produce generalized guides, others who opt for the elite. That said, there are various products that respond to ideals of a similar ethos. And there are books, magazines and newspapers devoid of honesty, regardless of the quality they profess. In short, numerous factors affect the result.

The reader must determine whether a publication engages in favoritism, if it looks out for its friends; favoritism is a capital flaw that is extremely widespread in this industry. The consumer must aim to find out the origin of a given rating: a question of taste, criteria, or lack of professionalism. Many critics allow themselves to be “buttered up”—they enjoy being deceived and openly recount sensations that attest to the special treatment they have received. We ought never to forget that we will be examined based on our ratings and reviews. Clearly, there are times—and this is why one must know how to read guidebooks, in good or bad faith— that experiences differ for various reasons. For example, no two pigeons or woodcocks are the same, and doneness is not always regulated with the same precision. The same dish executed with greater or less virtuosity places us in two very different worlds.

It should be noted that in a restaurant with a rating of 8, one can usually expect to eat at that level, but it could be anywhere between 7.5 and 8.25. Ratings should be taken as top ends—a superior performance takes precedence. The higher the rating of the establishment, the more difficult it is to confirm it—it is difficult to give a virtuosity rating of 9.5 two days in a row, even when the diner keeps to the house specialties or to the dishes recommended by a critic. What distinguishes a good gourmet from one who is perpetually disappointed is knowing what should be ordered in every restaurant and at all times; it is that easy, and also that difficult. Therefore, as much as we seek objectivity, let us assume that circumstances vary and that people are human, no matter how perfect they aspire to be.

The press and guides take on several functions. First, information, from discovering new restaurants to recommending the best dishes in each establishment and relating the newest additions to the menu, etc. Second, Lo Mejor de la Gastronomía aspires to have a formative character, so that every text inspires reflection or constructive debate over the work of each chef. And fundamentally, we see the gourmet press as a medium for stimulating competition. The changes in ratings, rises and falls, motivate the chefs to better themselves, to fight so as not to fall behind their colleagues, or to advance to the head of the pack. In any case, if we stimulate non-conformism, if we constantly demand greater creativity and perfection, we will be building a better world. On the other hand, if we are content with what we are, and if we overvalue the extent to which we are, we will end up swallowing the lies and compromising our individuality.