Goodbye Establishment – and Michelin stars

establishment.jpg
Manchester’s most ambitious restaurant, Establishment, has closed and with it goes the aspiration to earn the city centre’s first Michelin star for 15 years. Influential chef and restaurateur Marco Pierre White might not think it matters so much but what does it say about us to a wider audience?
Speaking in today’s M.E.N, Marco Pierre White, points out that there’s more to a good restaurant than the food on offer: “These days when people dine they are seeking a good night out and the food is only one aspect of that; the atmosphere and the service are just as important too.
“Restaurants are part of the entertainment business. People want to enjoy quality time with families and friends with good honest food at a price affordable to go out two or three days a week.”
And who can argue with that? Marco, of course knows what he’s talking about having presided over some of the most famous venues in London – Belvedere, Criterion, L’Escargot, Mirabelle and Quo Vadis.

But that really goes to the heart of the problem – how Manchester is seen in relation to London and other foodie cities.

Without ambitious places like Establishment(pictured) striving to put our city on the map, there will never be a list of venues like the one above attached to Manchester, or a celebrity chef to up our profile.
While the guidebook status might not matter for day-to-day dining experience, or even commercial success, the city’s lack of note puts in into a culinary backwater.
Let’s hope another restaurateur is brave enough to try again in the future.
Are you sorry to see Establishment go? What do you think of Marco Pierre White’s view? Let me know below.

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