Michelin Korea said on Nov. 26 that it will legally respond to a restaurant that recently raised suspicions of money relations in the process of selecting Michelin's star restaurant.
"(A restaurant) is seriously damaging the reputation and image of Michelin Guide as well as the related restaurants," Michelin Korea said in a statement. "We are responding to the distortions, including raising objections. We will consider other legal actions if necessary."
"Michelin does not engage in consulting activities. It doesn't ask for money in return for selection, and the consultant who raised suspicions has no contractual relationship with Michelin," it said.
"We met with Ernest Singer, who has been an importer of wine in Asia for more than 30 years while Michelin guide executives were interacting with various industry officials," it said. "But this is part of our daily exchanges."
In a press report, it claimed that the inside figure of Michelin Guide related to the suspicions was an employee who resigned in September 2016 for personal reasons and that he did not participate in the decision-making process of the Michelin Guide since his resignation.
Yoon, the CEO of a Korean restaurant, earlier claimed in a media interview that the Michelin Guide demanded bribes in exchange for giving a star rating.
Noting, "Why don't you get consulting with me," Ernest Singer reportedly said he was a middle-ranking official of the Michelin Guide and asked for 50 million won a year, as well as fees for staying, plane and lodging of the Michelin inspector.
CEO Yoon claimed that Ernest Singer was aware of the plan to publish the Korean version of the Michelin Guide, the details of negotiations with the government and the schedule of the evaluators' visit.