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A Chef Is Suing the Michelin Guide for Recommending His Restaurant

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Nabbing that coveted Michelin star is a golden ticket for restauranteurs. In fact, a mere mention in the renowned guide invites throngs of customers eager for a taste of culinary prestige. And while most work their entire careers towards the honor, Seoul-based chef Eo Yun-gwon is suing Michelin for including his restaurant, Ristorante Eo, in its 2019 guide to the city. 

Yun-gwon announced the news on Facebook on November 15, writing, "I have filed a criminal complaint against Michelin Guide's behavior of forcibly listing [restaurants] against their will and without a clear criteria." The paperwork was filed against the Michel Travel Partner in the Seoul Central District Prosecutor's Office, CNN reports.

"Including my restaurant Eo in the corrupt book is a defamation against members of Eo and the fans," he continued. "Like a ghost, they did not have a contact number and I was only able to get in touch through email. Although I clearly refused listing of my restaurant, they included it at their will this year as well." 

His qualm with Michelin is largely around the judging process, the outlet continues. He not only requested his restaurant removed, but asked for explicit reasoning on the rating criteria, as well. "There are thousands of restaurants in Seoul that are on the same level or better and more honest than those listed on the Michelin guide," he said. "It is a sad joke that a mere 170 of them are representing Seoul."

Ristorante Eo was reportedly first included in 2016. "Each dish clearly demonstrates his insight into the integrity and simplicity of Italian cooking," the guide cited. Yun-gwon went on to call the award "humiliating," disparaging the Michelin as an "unwholesome book."

I'm sure a few other restaurants would be down to take that recommendation off his hands? 

h/t Food & Wine


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 Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist. Follow her @MegSchaltegger