Are the keepers of the most storied culinary tradition in the world serving microwave dinners? There’s cause to worry. As The Times of London reports:
Most French chefs order the nation’s top dishes from a catalogue and reheat them in a microwave, according to a Parisian restaurateur. […]
Mr Denamur’s book Et si on se mettait enfin à table? (And if We Sat Down to Eat at Last) — suggests that they have every reason to be sceptical. He estimates that seven out of ten dishes served in French brasseries, bistros and cafés are factory-made and reheated in the kitchen. “The microwave has become the chef’s best friend,” he says.
So why are French restaurants ordering factory meals? The chef who spilled the beans suggests that the culprit may lie unnecessary expenses—particularly sky-high French taxes:
Mr Denamur, who has become a well-known agitator in France, argues that the government’s efforts to lift French gastronomy are doomed unless it cuts the country’s prohibitively high taxes. He says that these force restaurants to produce budget meals, employ staff on the black market and resort to various other manoeuvres
He admits that he bought alcoholic drinks for his restaurants in supermarkets for many years. This ensured that the profits from the drinks never appeared in the balance sheet.
As fun as all this is to laugh at, there’s a serious point to be gleaned here too: the costs and inefficiencies of the blue model are stifling growth, suppressing innovation and diminishing the quality of life in many ways—some of which don’t appear on a balance sheet.