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riginally distributed by brothers
André and Edouard Michelin as
a free guide to French motorists
to point out where vehicle repairs
could be made and where they could find a
place to stay and eat, the famous Michelin guide,
now in its 110th year, has arguably become the
definitive guide to global dining.
The last edition sold more than 100 million
copies, in 15 publications, covering 21 countries.
While often maligned as being ‘too French’ or ‘out
of touch with modern culinary trends’, no one can
dispute the influence these coveted little stars wield.
To fully appreciate the worth of a meal
prepared by a Michelin-starred chef, it’s best to
consider the rating system itself. Michelin stars are
only awarded to a small number of restaurants, and
assessments are made by a team of professionally
trained and anonymous inspectors. In 2009, there
were only 81 restaurants in the world with three
stars (the highest number of stars obtainable).
And it’s all about the glorious food. Stars are
awarded solely for what’s on the plate, not the
decor or quality of ser vice. There are only five
criteria considered: quality of ingredients; skill in
preparing them and in combining flavours; level of
creativity; consistency of culinary standards; and
value for money. Notoriously difficult to obtain,
even restaurants with a one-star rating are quickly
elevated into a rare and exalted position.
How exciting then to discover that we have a
highly-awarded chef right here in Perth. Andrew
Barnes was head chef at a restaurant with two
Michelin stars – Longridge in the UK – for nine
years and brings with him a wealth of expertise
and talent. With a young family and wanting the
proverbial ‘lifestyle change’ in Australia, he put the
feelers out and was quickly snapped up by Clyde
and Lesley Bevan at Friends restaurant.
The restaurant now holds ‘Michelin star’
dinners where diners can experience the talents
of this acclaimed chef. They’re held by arrangement
and wines are carefully matched to each dish.
With one of the most awarded wine lists in
the country (Friends was awarded best wine list in
Australia in 1995 – having won once, a restaurant
can’t win ag ain – and has often been named as
having the best wine list in WA), the combinations
of food and wine are hug e and very exciting for
lovers of exceptional dining.
The dinners range in price, depending
mostly on your choice of wine, and can be
organised from $300/person right up to the
very impressive $1400/person.
Unable to resist such a feast but possessed of a
more modest budget, we assembled a small group
of fellow gour mands and wine aficionados and
settled in on a Tuesday evening.
Chef Andrew’s menu was a veritable jour ney
through various Michelin-starred restaurants,
drawing inspiration from Michelin star chefs such
as Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsay and Michel
Roux Junior. Each dish was matched with a wine
chosen to complement the flavours, not
Where can you enjoy eight courses by a renowned two-star
Michelin chef, as well as dishes devised by Marco Pierre White,
Gordon Ramsay and Michel Roux Junior – and one of Australia’s
finest wine cellars? East Perth, of course « words marina fiore « images rob simeon
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