And we have one guy less! Or one gal, rather. There's been a new desertion from the French jury of the preposterous World's 50 Best Restaurants contest, one of the emblematic figure of Paris' Mondogastro: Frederick-Ernestine Grasser-Hermé*. She will apparently declare that she is leaving the Diners Club® World's 50 Best Restaurants Academy, whose French subsidiary is managed by the Italian Andrea Petrini.
Here is an excerpt of the text posted on Roger Feuilly’s blog: "I am fuming, as a member of the French jury of the World's 50 Best Restaurants, where I represented France up until an hour ago. It took me two years to come to grips with my moral malaise. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m giving my notice and returning my black vinyl apron because of an incongruous ranking. This won’t be Waterloo 2013.
Andrea Petrini, you're probably the only one to be able to go around the world in 80 days. At least you're honest and you do your job; you eat and you vote conscientiously after each bite. But what about the rest of us? Let’s be honest, let’s say it like it is. How many of us actually travel? Let’s be truthful! I’ve made up my mind; I’ve had it up to here. I agree with the dissidents, with the Rubins, with Gaudry, and with other former members of the French jury whose side I am now on. No more voting for restaurants whose menus I have not tasted during the year, that’s over!”
The fact that members of the jury of zany rankings with dubious acquaintances do not visit the restaurants they score was an open secret. And now, Frederick-Ernestine Grasser-Hermé, foodista-in-chief, seems to confirm this from the inside. She even states this as the cause of her resignation. It is true that the methodology of the World's 50 Best Restaurants is somewhat obscure, carefully kept away from any ethical principle. Still, in journalism, this kind of practice, talking about meals you did not have and talking about things you did not experience has a name: fraud.
*This has yet to be confirmed, hence the conditional.