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Why German chefs win more Michelin stars than British


Restaurants in Germany are awarded significantly more Michelin stars than those in Britain in spite of the fact that the countries have many similarities. A new study has looked into the reason why and discovered that it has a lot to do with staff, recruitment, training and the Teutonic pursuit of perfection. In 2013, Britain won 162 Michelin stars, whilst German chefs tucked an impressive 255 under their collective lederhosen. Not only that, the rate at which British restaurants lost their stars or closed between 2002 and 2009 was almost twice as high as in Germany. The study which was carried out by the LSE and University of Cambridge, based on interviews with 40 Michelin-starred head chefs in Britain and Germany, suggests that British chefs have a harder task building a coherent team of staff essential for the implementation of creative ideas. It stated that Michelin’s main criteria for awarding stars is originality together with consistently high quality of food. Most chefs interviewed emphasised their own creativity, however it was found that in the kitchen this “creativity” was turned into a military discipline where many of the chefs admitted to using an


authoritarian style: shouting, swearing or even low grade violence. With some British chefs, creativity amongst staff was positively discouraged. The emphasis was placed, instead, on high performance. Others complained of a stressful environment in the kitchen where it was difficult to remain creative. One chef compared it to suffering from something akin to “writers block”, commenting: “You just burn yourself out. You get to the point where the ideas aren’t coming and sometimes think ‘pack it in now, the story’s over.’” The researchers found significant differences in the type of staff employed in German and British kitchens made it even harder for British chefs to build “coherent teams.” Employees in Germany were noted to be predominantly German-born or from German speaking neighbouring countries. Those in Britain were of diverse national origin with about 60% being non British. This resulted in difficulties in communication and increased labour turnover rates. Another difference was that British head chefs tended to be self-taught whereas the Germans had basic apprenticeship qualifications with 30 per cent having a


Cobra Beer awarded six accolades at 2016 Monde Selection Awards


Cobra Beer has been awarded a further six awards at the 2016 Monde Selection Awards. The award win takes Cobra’s Monde Selection award wins to a total of 89 to date, making it one of the most highly awarded World Beers. This year, Cobra won five individual product awards, including the prestigious Grand Gold accolade for two of its products, Cobra Premium (Draught, Keg 50L) and King Cobra (Bottle, 75cl). The remaining three Gold awards were given to Cobra Premium Beer (Bottle, 66cl), Cobra Zero (Bottle, 33cl) and Cobra Premium Beer (Bottle 33cl). Additionally, Cobra was also awarded an International High Quality Trophy this year for having achieved a high level of quality for three consecutive years for Cobra Premium Beer (Bottle 66cl), Cobra Premium Draught Beer (Keg 50L) and Cobra Zero (Bottle 33cl). Cobra goes by the motto ‘Live Smooth,’ and


has a distinctive, complex recipe that results in an impossibly smooth beer. Brewed using the finest natural ingredients and a traditional Indian blend of barley malt and yeast, with maize, hops and rice, Cobra beers are created using unique recipes and production processes to give them their distinctive character and smoothness. Lord Bilimoria CBE, founder and chairman of Cobra Beer, comments: “We are delighted to receive a further six awards at this year’s Monde Selection Awards – one of the most prestigious in the industry. The competition for these awards is fierce and these results are a testament to our unrelenting commitment to maintaining the highest levels of quality, which Cobra drinkers and our restaurant customers have come to expect from Cobra Beer.”


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Master craftsman qualification. When employing staff, German head chefs said that they valued training and apprenticeship skills higher whereas British chefs placed more emphasis on the quality of person. The researchers also noted that in German cooking was regarded as more of a craft whereas training done in Britain is variable in quality. Quoting the words of the former chief executive of Michelin Publishing, Luc Naret, who said that “the best chefs in Germany cook today in the way the Germans build cars: on an absolutely perfect level”, the researchers concluded: “Our study suggests that businesses that have been successful in countries like Germany should not assume the same smooth implementation of creative ideas when moving to countries like Britain, with a less clear and systematic organisation of skill.”


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