They call it black gold: a 100 ml bottle of a 25-year vintage can sell for over 100 €, yet most of the world’s supply is an imitation. We’re talking about modena balsamico, the carefully aged, syrupy vinegar that adds a deep mellowness and tart sparkle to everything from roasted meat, risotto to fresh picked strawberries. On a recent trip to Modena—the only region with the rights to the coveted Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena label—I had the pleasure of visiting Acetaia DiGiorgio , a small producer of the most sought-after vinegar.
After a few weeks of speculations about who will be the next holder of 3 stars in France, Michelin results were finally released this Monday. L’Assiette Champenoise is the most recent member of the elite group of restaurants which have the highest award. I am also very happy about the second star for the Parisian chef Akrame Benallal. Apicius, my other favorite restaurant in Paris, lost it’s second star though. This makes me ask the question – why some chefs year after year are subjected to strict judgements, while others can keep their stars no matter what? I am of course speaking of Paul Bocuse, the “pope” of modern French gastronomy, whose restaurant I had a chance to visit last January and who has been awarded 3 Michelin stars since 1965, making him the longest holder of this prestigious award in the world.