juggernaut shook things up yesterday in Shanghai
, introducing a new ranking system for restaurants in 22 cities in China and five cities overseas including New York, Tokyo, and Paris that awards either one, two, or three stars — er, “black pearls” — depending on the outcome of anonymous visits by a select committee of judges, many of whom are chefs. Sound familiar? Sound a little like this tiny tire company that produces a handbook to restaurants no one reads and has no influence? Sound like, perhaps, a (welcome) Chinese counterweight to said tire company? Sound like — let’s just say it — a Chinese Michelin, made in China by China for China (good!)? The company claims otherwise, but they’re not kidding anyone.