THE QUESTION

Food fight

Some Japanese chefs have a "problem" -- their restaurants earned one or more Michelin stars, the world's biggest culinary honor. The chefs say they cook for their customers, not strangers, and they don't relish the attention. Top Western chefs have a beef, too, saying Japanese chefs mostly stick to tradition, so their dishes aren't as praiseworthy. The two cultures seem to define success differently. What are the consequences of each approach, and is one better than the other?

Posted by Success Editors on November 1, 2010 12:00 AM
FROM THE PANEL

Traditionally unique

Unique or tried-and-true? Both can succeed. Macaroni & cheese is never 'a complex mix of sophisticated flavors that borders on the divine.' But if you don't screw it up, kids and adults alike will gladly dig in.

Posted by Garrison Wynn, on November 1, 2010 7:17 PM

Eye of the beholder

Being singled out for doing a good job is not the Japanese way. So our chefs clamor for a Michelin star and Japanese chefs just shrug their shoulders. Different paradigms.

Posted by Virginia Bianco-Mathis, on November 1, 2010 4:03 PM

Success' shadow side

Attention has a downside. For some of us notoriety can be painful, with unwanted consequences. I think of people like Elvis, Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson.

Posted by Jeanine Cogan, on November 1, 2010 12:00 AM

Food and values

Value is always determined in the eye of the beholder and many organizations and people forget this to their detriment.

Posted by Seth Kahan, on November 1, 2010 12:00 AM

Whose heaven?

Domination -- one language over many, one culture over all others, one way of judging cuisine or student achievement -- is the root cause of much human conflict, poverty, oppression, and the shattering disappointment of French chefs.

Posted by Patricia McGuire, on November 1, 2010 12:00 AM

FEATURED COMMENTS

Edorampo: Your question is rather puzzling. Tokyo restaurants received a total of 261 Michelin stars this year, more than any other city in the world....

getjiggly1: I don't understand why "sticking to tradition" should be less praiseworthy for a chef. Excellence in preparation and presentation is as pra...

Make a Comment  |  All Comments (2)

 
Contact Us
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company