There is an interesting feature by John Colapinto in the latest issue of The New Yorker. The story exposes the truth behind the famous Michelin hotel-and-restaurant guide, including the elusive careers of its anonymous inspectors.
Colapinto has lunch with one of the guide's New York-based inspectors, Maxime, in order to better understand a rather misunderstood guide. Originally created in France at the turn of the last century, the restaurant guide was not received too warmly upon its arrival in the United States in 2005.
Skeptics of the guide question its methods of having anonymous inspectors who are not allowed to reveal their occupation to anyone. Others feel the Guide Michelin plays favorites when handing out the coveted "stars."
I would classify this feature as a consumer guide to a consumer guide. Colapinto tells readers the history behind the guide and presents opinions of supporters and skeptics. Armed with this information, the audience has the power to decide what is and isn't useful about the Michelin guide.
While most of the information presented is intriguing, the piece is excessive in length. The author includes too much background information.
I liked the structure of the feature. Colapinto does a nice job juxtaposing the past and the present, with excerpts from his lunch with Maxime and blocks of background information.