This chef spills the beans on why he left fine dining and hates the Michelin system

Le Bernardin
Le Bernardin

Most chefs dream of getting to place a Michelin star after their name. Not Brooks Headley.

The former pastry chef at Del Posto, who now runs Superiority Burger in the East Village, opens up in a new interview with Lucky Peach about his feelings on the awards system and fine dining in general. And he’s not shy.

“I think Michelin is the biggest crock of complete fucking bullshit—and please quote me exactly on this—especially in New York City. They lied about stuff they ate at Del Posto.”  Yikes.

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Food at Superiority Burger

That’s not the only truth-bomb Headley has to drop; he also has problems with the exorbitant costs of fine dining:

“But while it isn’t necessarily all hedge fund guys, fine dining is for very wealthy people and for normal people pretending to be rich for the night. Either way, a $400 meal for two is pretty grotesque. And the whole ‘we just want to pamper you and pretend to care about you while seething and hating you behind the scenes’ service style is the worst.”

On the other hand, his restaurant is a pretty laid-back place where people can get a delicious meal for under $20 — and that is very intentional. “People can visit New York for fancy restaurants, but a twenty-year-old is not going to pop in to Le Bernardin. But they can come here and spend ten bucks on lunch and twenty on a record—it’s more important for me to be part of that New York City.” [Lucky Peach]