Sue Lawley's castaway this week is Derek Brown the Director of the Michelin Red Guides which are the French bible for restaurants. The original Guide was invented in 1900 to help travellers in France find good food at reasonable prices. These days the annual publication always creates a stir with restaurateurs and gourmands alike, all waiting on tenterhooks to see who has been awarded the prestigious Michelin stars - or who has had them taken away. In recent years some high profile chefs have created controversy by sending back their stars, although Brown says the stars don't belong to the chefs but are awarded to the restaurant itself and judged purely on the experience of the meal on the day.
Derek Brown himself comes from a middle-class Portsmouth family and his first ambition was to be a history teacher. After spending a summer earning pocket money as a waiter he realised that hotel management was his path in life and cherished a dream of owning his own hotel. At twenty-seven he saw an advert for Michelin inspectors and gradually worked his way up to the top job.
[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]
Favourite track: 2nd Movement of Symphony No.7 in A Major by Ludwig van Beethoven
Book: The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
Luxury: A steamer chair
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