General press, Michelin, Hollywood and Las Vegas

The crisis that the general press is suffering from goes far beyond the apparition of mere new technology and the implementation of social communications. It suffices to simply listen to a radio program, watch television or read a newspaper article (in the New York Times, for example), to realize that when they start in on a specific topic, one in which you work or are minimally informed of, they treat it with a light, even frivolous manner, or they have very little to say on the subject (read: nothing at all).
The most recent trend in newspapers and magazines is to combine Michelin stars owned by the famous chefs by summing up their franchises, counsels… their global industries. Joël Robuchon is given 17 stars in this brave new Michelin world. And what does that mean? Well, that he is the best at organizing restaurants to please Michelin’s taste. That, and only that. Alain Ducasse is a close second with 15 total stars for all his restaurants. In short, they have created a new ranking system: the mass production or commercialization of the stars. Everybody knows that Michelin stars are to chefs what Oscars are to movies and actors. Somehow we have landed ourselves in this, the new gastronomic Hollywood.
Nonetheless, doubt remains about whether or not Joël Robuchon is greater now with his 17 Michelin stars (or however many they choose to give him) than he was before when he only had three at his restaurant Jasmin. Such an overabundance of awards from the red guide will never make him what he once was: the best chef in the world.
Ferran Adrià should be up there competing for the Michelin awards. More stars, more business for haute cuisine. More locales, more international coverage. And with so much coverage, so much business and commercialization, with so many establishments to attend to and so many teams to direct, we have arrived at the same place as the most legendary of names and characters, from France, to the new Michelin Hollywood via Las Vegas. This is a Casino, folks–a place to make a fortune.
Meanwhile the great Spanish chefs have yet to fall into this game, they still remain in the global vanguard, without the red carpet.
This sensationalism of the public has brought us a crisis of quality.
Not to say Robuchon and Ducasse don’t have their merit–on the contrary, they have the immense merit of having created another league, one in which almost everyone dreams of playing. Bravo.