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Opening a restaurant?
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Opening a restaurant?

Refined palates and stuffed bank accounts are beneficial when launching a culinary empire, but they are not everything

Andrew J. Linn


Friday, 28 June 2024, 14:58

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There are many stories about disastrous restaurant openings, and a quick check on how many of the places that opened on the coast more than a year ago are still in business is thought-provoking.

The classic eye-of-the-storm situation is when the foodie or self-styled gourmet is convinced that, having spent a small fortune on eating out over the years, he is qualified to set up what will of course be the best restaurant in the province.

Naturally the establishment will be designed by a current top restaurateur and a leading chef or two will have their pockets stuffed with cash to act as backups. But, regrettably, spending fortunes in top-tier restaurants does not impart culinary expertise. Refined palates and stuffed bank accounts are beneficial when launching a culinary empire but are not everything.

One small local group of diverse nationalities decided recently to embark on an ambitious project. They gave it a name so pretentious it practically wore a monocle, and the inauguration was spectacular - a spectacular disaster. The cream of society arrived expecting the culinary experience of a lifetime. What they got was more like a culinary crime scene. Dishes arrived either overcooked or still mooing, the artisanal bread was harder than the financial decisions these guests never had to make. The wine pairings were totally mismatched.


  • Carrasviñas Félix 2020

  • An interesting white wine from Rueda launched to mark the 80th anniversary of the bodega, and nominated a Gran Vino de Rueda The vines are more than 30-years old, so pre-phylloxera, and the must has remained on its lees for twelve months. Only 2096 bottles were released. Around 30 euros.

The point was made. Knowing how to eat well doesn't mean you know how to cook or run a restaurant. So, the next time we dine at a Michelin-starred restaurant, or somewhere similar, it's okay to just enjoy the meal without making any plans.

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