Everyone makes mistakes, and chortling over those of others can make a person feel uncharitable. (People who live in glass houses and all …) Still, it’s hard not to gawp and guffaw at a recent error — one as amusing as it was alarming — by the Michelin hotel and restaurant guide.
The august arbiter of taste messed up last month when it accidentally awarded one of its prestigious stars to a restaurant called Le Bouche à Oreille in Bourges, a town in central France. The coveted Michelin star was actually intended for a different restaurant named Le Bouche à Oreille, a fancy fine-dining establishment in Boutervilliers, near Paris.
While the Bourges bar/restaurant, located on route de la Chapelle, serves hardy lunches to a local working-class crowd seated at plastic-covered tables and has only a part-time cook, the Boutervilliers spot, located on rue de la Chapelle and overseen by chef-owner Aymeric Dreux, serves things like lobster and foie gras to clientele seated in cushy armchairs around elegant tables.
The Bourges brasserie’s owner Véronique Jacquet told the New York Times that, when she heard on the radio that her modest café had been awarded a Michelin star, she knew straightaway there had been a mistake.
“I laughed out loud,” Jacquet told the paper. “It was impossible that this could happen to me.”
Still, all’s well that ends well. After about a week, Michelin apologized for the error. In the meantime, Jacquet’s humble eatery has been “swamped” with customers curious about its mistaken star, she told the Guardian.
Even sweeter, Dreux invited Jacquet and her part-time chef to come dine at his restaurant. It has a Michelin star, you know.