ABC7 News spent the morning with restaurateur George Chen who owns China Live and Eight Tables in San Francisco's Chinatown. He knew Michelin inspectors visited Eight Tables after they posted a photo on Instagram which led him to believe he was in the running for at least one star this year.
“He wasn’t even this nervous on his wedding 🤵🏽 day!” — Mrs. Chen. Chef @ChinaLiveGChen anxiously awaits getting the call ☎️ from @MichelinGuideSF today if he’ll receive a star ⭐️ or possibly TWO this year! 😊 #PinsandNeedles pic.twitter.com/jgtmCPakYz— Dion Lim (@DionLimTV) November 29, 2018
Chen has had a number of setbacks in his storied career (Eight Tables is his 16th restaurant) including bankruptcy and says, "It is a big deal-- my wife thinks I'm the phoenix out of the ashes. People don' respect Chinese food enough in this country. All the Michelin Stars for Asian food is for Japanese cuisine and I think it's high time people realize Chinese food is great cuisine, but we never get that recognition."
Disappointingly, Chen never received the call from Michelin informing him of a star win. However, he says it won't deter him from continuing to provide high-quality food and service to the Bay Area.
Ellen Fort, lead editor at Eater San Francisco says the Michelin awards can be very secretive and it's hard to tell what inspectors are looking for. She predicted Eight Tables to receive at least one star and was a bit surprised when she heard it was not on the 2019 list.
"There is always next year!"
The complete list of starred restaurants, including newcomers to the list for 2019 like Birdsong in San Francisco's SOMA, Madcap in San Anselmo and Protégé in Palo Alto can be found here.