The Michelin Guide is a red book that millions of chefs from all around the world dream of being listed in. The term “Michelin Star” is associated with unusual masterpieces on plates, incredibly high bills, and reservations you have to wait several months to get. Going to a restaurant mentioned in the Michelin Guide is probably a thing that happens to an ordinary person only once in their lives, and it’s impossible to forget this event.
smartzune.com is really curious to know what makes people spend 10-20 times more than usual and wants to tell you what chefs are ready to do to get these precious stars.
What is the Michelin Guide?
- The Michelin Guide has been published by the company that produces tires, with the same name, since 1900. It used to be a guide for motorists in France and was given for free together with a tire purchase. The restaurant section appeared in 1926 and turned out to be really popular. Later, the Michelin brothers had to hire a team of inspectors to visit and review restaurants and publish their guides for other countries.
- In 1922, the brothers started selling the guide for $2 after André Michelin, while visiting a tire merchant, noticed copies of the guide being used to prop up a workbench. They removed all the advertisements, and even today there are still no ads.
- In the guide, there are several designations: “Comfortable restaurant.” “Magnificent view,” and so on. But readers are mostly interested in stars. One star indicates that a restaurant is really good in its category. 2 stars mean that a restaurant has excellent cuisine and it’s worth of changing your route. 3 stars indicate that a restaurant is worth a special journey to try its exceptional cuisine.
- Michelin stars are given for the quality of food only. Things like elegant decor, service, atmosphere, and the location of a restaurant are never taken into account. To assess these features, there is a “fork and spoon” designation. The more forks and spoons a restaurant has, the better, especially if they’re red.
- Restaurants aren’t allowed to use the information about their stars for commercial purposes. Michelin recommends that mentioning a restaurant in the guide is a great ad in and of itself. Those who break the rule could be excluded from the list.
- One of the most common claims about the guide is that it prefers French chefs and French cuisine. Many times, they’ve been blamed for being biased against beginners and favoring their old friends such as Paul Bocuse. Though the guide denies any of these accusations.