Psst—I Think This Michelin Guest Chef Dinner at Botanist is Mispriced.
It's plenty pricey—at $219—but that's still $134 less than what dinner at Acadia would set you back.
July 10, 2018
I’m not sure what I make of these Michelin Events, wherein the famed French dining guide spirits chefs who have garnered stars in places where the guide deigns to cover (like Chicago) to places where they don’t (like us hillbillies). Why does everybody have to get into the event business? Isn’t publishing the guide enough? And aren’t chefs going to feel compelled to accept the invitation to travel to spots out of fear that saying no will put them in Michelin’s bad books?
The first event occurred a few months back when Lee Wolen of Chicago’s 1-star Boka came to cook with Lee Cooper of L’Abattoir and $195 got you five course with wine pairings—and the wine poured was very solid. I didn’t go, so I have no idea how good it was but I can parse the dollars and cents. An 8-course tasting menu at Boka will set you back USD$130 ($170 CDN), so in the L’Abatooir event you were essentially getting the wine pairings $25, but getting 3 less courses. Not a bad deal.
But version two is happening on August 9th and the economics of this one are more interesting. It’s a collaboration between Hector Laguna of Botanist and Ryan McCaskey of Chicago’s Two-starred Acadia. For starters you’re getting one more star than last go around. And if you were to roll into Arcadia and order their 8 course tasting with wine pairings you’re looking at a cool $270 USD ($355 CDN), but this upcoming dinner is 7 courses for $220—a not insignificant price differential of $135 for one less course. I’m not going to this one either, but I like the economics of it.
Tickets are here.