Infographic Category Food

How Michelin Stars Work

By | source:Here Mar 5th, 2024

Have you ever eaten at a Michelin restaurant? This prestigious award is reserved only for the best of the best in the industry. Do you know how it works?

The Unexpected Origin of Michelin Stars

You might be wondering how a tire company came to be the authority on fine dining. The roots of the Michelin Star system date back to the early 20th century. At the time, Michelin was experiencing a slump in tire sales in France. In a stroke of genius, they launched a guide intended to encourage road tripping, and with it, tire use. This guide featured an array of information for travelers, including maps, hotel recommendations, and, importantly, restaurant reviews.

The Anonymous Reviewers: The Heart of the Michelin Guide

Fast forward to today, the Michelin Guide’s backbone is a team of anonymous reviewers. These culinary enthusiasts are tasked with dining at restaurants and penning their experiences, all while keeping their identities a secret. You might be impressed to know they don’t take notes during their meal, relying instead on their memory to document their dining experience after the fact.

Decoding the Michelin Star System

After their gastronomic adventure, the reviewers convene to decide if a restaurant is deserving of a Michelin star. A restaurant can earn one, two, or three stars – or none at all. The scarcity of these stars contributes to their prestige. For context, in 2018, only 78 out of the thousands of restaurants in New York City were awarded a Michelin rating. That’s just one more than the previous year!

A Closer Look at the Criticisms

Despite their prestige, Michelin stars aren’t without controversy. Critics argue that the stars only consider the quality of the food, ignoring other elements like customer service, ambiance, or even parking availability. Some also contend that the system is biased towards French cuisine and formal dining styles.

Your Guide to Dining at a Michelin Star Restaurant

Now that you have a grasp of the history and workings of the Michelin star system, you might be curious to try a Michelin-starred restaurant for yourself. Just remember, while the food is guaranteed to be stellar, don’t be surprised if the ambiance and service don’t measure up to the same high standards.

A Few Parting Thoughts…

Despite the criticisms, dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant is a unique experience, one that any food lover should try at least once. After all, it’s not every day you get to taste dishes that have been awarded the culinary world’s highest honor. So why not make a reservation and see for yourself what all the fuss is about?