Getting a Michelin star is the pinnacle of achievement for restaurants around the world, and the honour is not bestowed flippantly.
However, one unassuming restaurant in France was temporarily given the prestigious award after it was accidentally issued it with a Michelin star because it had the same name as another Parisian restaurant.
The Telegraph reports staff at the diner, Bouche à Oreille in Bourges, woke one day to a stream of reporters and customers in the restaurant, a departure from the usual clientele of tradespeople in high-vis vests. The Michelin star was supposed to have been awarded not to this “Bouche à Oreille” but another restaurant with the same name near Paris. The mistake went uncorrected for a week on Michelin’s website.
A dish at the Bourges restaurant will set you back about €12.50 ($17.30), with the menu consisting of homemade lasagne, beef bourguignon, or steak and chips. The restaurant that had actually won the Michelin-star serves meals like lobster flan or calf’s head, and a fixed lunch menu costs around €48 ($66.42).
“Suddenly we were rushed off our feet. Reporters were coming in and then my son phoned me from Paris, where he lives. He almost died laughing,” the Bourges-located restaurant’s owner Veronique Jacquet told The Telegraph.
“I had regulars and friends phoning up and asking why I hadn’t told them we’d won a Michelin star.”
The error has since been corrected, but the small restaurant in Bourges has enjoyed its brief moment in the spotlight.
“We’ve had a lot of fun and the publicity might be good, but I’ll be relieved when the phone stops ringing,” Jacquet said.
“The spirit here is that the door’s open to everyone. This is good, simple home cooking and that’s what our customers like.”