Michelin worldwide director Jean-Luc Naret said Tuesday he doesn't know how the poster on Yelp got his hands on the list of Michelin-starred Chicago restaurants, but damned if he's going to let "David 'Primo' R" get away with it.
"We don't know yet if the book was sold in advance or if the book disappeared from one of the booksellers, who have all signed confidentiality agreements," Naret said. "We'll find out, don't worry. We'll make sure our legal people know exactly what happened. . . Obviously, there will be some legal issues."
Still, Naret was hardly flustered that the announcement of the first-ever Michelin Chicago guide didn't go down as smoothly as planned, or that the leak did anything to damage the credibility of the vaunted guide.
"There was too much speculation, so it was time to call the chefs," Naret said. "It was really a relief for them, and for [the media]."
Naret called each of the 23 chefs earning a star, including L2O's Laurent Gras, the chef who abruptly left the restaurant earlier this month. Gras was in New York and will fly back to attend a reception thrown by Michelin on Wednesday, Naret said.
L2O earned three stars, the highest honor, as did Alinea.
"We didn't know [Gras] was going to leave," Naret says. "But obviously, we've been there before. You have chefs who leave all the time."
Now that the Chicago guide is out and the champagne corks are popping, the 10 U.S. Michelin inspectors will get one week off. But next week, they start inspecting anew for next year's guide, Naret says.