I posted this message on the old board very shortly before they were discontinued. I don't know if the reason I got no responses is because so few people saw it or because it's so banal : - ) Anyway, I'm reposting it.
I want to start this message by stressing that I am not accusing anyone who feels differently than me of being "wrong." I disagreed with someone else about a similar topic and was accused of flaming. I'm simply offering an alternative take on an issue.
I've not yet eaten in the Olympic restaurant, but I certainly plan to on my Millennium cruise in November. I say this to underline that what I'm writing is philosophical, and may or may not apply to the Olympic.
At the very high end, many chefs consider themselves artists rather than business men. Obviously, they have to pay the bills, but when they get good enough they can do it on their own terms. Many of the world's greatest restaurants serve only prix fixe dinners. When you eat at one of these establishments, you are placing yourself in the hands of the chef. He designs every dish (and the accompanying wine) to complement each other and create what he considers , based on the availibility of the choicest ingredients at that time, to be the perfect meal. One does not tell these chefs how they want their meal prepared or what they want to eat. Dining in these establishments is on a take it or leave it basis. If you don't agree with the chef's approach, go elsewhere, he won't take it personally.
It's like going to the theater, you can pick the playwrights you enjoy, but you can't tell them how you want the play to be written. I suspect that this is the type of atmosphere Michel Roux is trying to create with the Olympic. Based on his reputation, I'm more than willing to let him "control" my meal. Especially at such a bargain price. Check out the prices at La Gavroche, his restaurant in England!!! Better consult your financial consultant before you decide to eat there.
I know there are a number of food professionals who take part in this forum. I'd love to hear your take on this issue. Anyone who would prefer to respond privately, my e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to express myself.