The Escoffier School for Culinary Arts has one hell of a namesake to live up to. Auguste Escoffier is the closest thing the cooking world has to a deity. He established the brigade system that governs all modern-day professional kitchens. His pivotal Le Guide Culinaire codified French cuisine’s five mother sauces, from which all other sauces derive. The Escoffier School’s owners believe they can now impart some of the grand master's wisdom to a new generation of cooks through an intensive online course.
Denmark, the country that brought us Lego, the Little Mermaid and a whole host of funky, fresh and chic interior design ideas is currently leading the world with its gastronomic innovation. René Redzepi's two-Michelin starred extravaganza, Noma, has been awarded the ultimate accolade of Best Restaurant in the World for the last three years in a row, stealing the crown from the extended reign of El Bulli long before it closed.
Anne and Peter Verrill, owners of the restaurant, decided to save a Methodist church, built in the 1850′s, from demolition. The holy property was acquired in 2007 for 675 000 USD, and subsequently renovated for about 2 million USD. The result is high-end restaurant, Grace, located in Maine’s largest city, Portland.
Is it contradictory to be both a rational business owner and invest most of your time and money in a Michelin- or equivalent high-end restaurants? Probably. Not breaking news really, but The Wall Street Journal recently wrote an appealing blog post on their Asian peers:
«- Think about the Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe, says Mr. Chiang, who has worked at one with three stars, L’Astrance in Paris. - They are all relatively small in size; If you want a volume business generating a lot of money, you can open a fast-food chain.»
On the other hand, owning part of a restaurant and combining it with entertaining costumers from other ventures may show extensive multitasking skills and generate more business. Full story situated over at the WSJ: Why Restaurants Want Fewer Customers.
Hat tip to Marginal Revolution.