Michelin star is the ultimate hallmark of culinary excellence. A Michelin star is part of the esteemed restaurant rating system used by the Michelin Guide all over the world. Restaurants featured on the Michelin guide can either be: Plate Michelin, Bib Gourmand, 1 Star Michelin, 2 Stars Michelin, and of course the supreme: 3 Stars Michelin. Technically, you are only considered to be a Michelin starred restaurant when you have at least one star. The Plate Michelin and Bib Gourmand recognize brilliant restaurants which are just shy of the coveted Michelin stars. As expected, the more Michelin stars a restaurant have, the more highly rated it is by culinary experts. According to the Guide, one star signifies “a very good restaurant”, two stars are “excellent cooking that is worth a detour”, and three stars mean “exceptional cuisine that is worth a special journey”.
The Michelin of the title Michelin Stars is indeed the same Michelin that makes Tires. In fact, the purpose of the first guide tied in with their tire making heritage. The tire company began making atlases which included certain restaurants on different routes. At that time, one Michelin star meant the restaurant was worthy of a stop along the way; two stars meant it was worth a detour and three stars that you ought to make a special journey to visit the restaurant.
Michelin claims that the Michelin Star means the same thing today, only adjusted for a more mobile society. Yet with the proliferation of restaurants in the 121 years after the very first Michelin star guide, many people think the Michelin star actually possesses more value than that – particularly with the degree of prestige the Michelin stars hold in today’s society.
To earn one Michelin star, a restaurant needs to be “a very good restaurant in this category”. For two stars, it needs to be “excellent cooking, worth a detour”. For three stars, a restaurant must serve “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.”
The exact scoring systems used by Michelin inspectors to award a Michelin star remain a very closely guarded secret. Yet we do know some aspects of the process. Inspectors visit premises around once every 18 months, unless it is being considered for gaining or losing a Michelin star. In these instances, a Michelin one star restaurant will receive four visits before it can gain its second star. A two star location must be inspected on ten occasions before it can claim the ultimate honor of three stars.
After every meal, the inspector writes a report. It was thought that service, decor and location were each considered as part of the process, but the Michelin guide editor, Rebecca Burr, told The Telegraph that “it is all about the food, absolutely.” Burr suggested that to go from one star to two means displaying “that technical strength, signature dishes, refinement, something that sets them apart.” While the journey from two to three stars is about the “ultimate culinary experience”.
Other than the process involved, a recent seminar that consisted of various experts in the food industry shed light on 5 important factors that international Michelin inspectors adhere to when making their judgments and ratings before conferring a Michelin star.
- Using Quality Ingredients
- Mastery of Flavors and Cooking Techniques
- Ability to Showcase the Chef’s Personality in the Food
- Value for Money
- Consistency of Food and Dining Experience
There is no such thing as a Michelin-starred chef. The fact of the matter is that they don’t exist: stars are awarded to the restaurant, not to the chef. Gordon Ramsey holds no Michelin stars rather the Restaurant Gordon Ramsey owns got three stars.
About the Author:
Farhana Zaman is a culinary passionate who has done a detour from the traditional academic discipline after finishing her post-graduation from Independent University, Bangladesh. She joined at the Global Diploma in Culinary Arts Programme accredited by the Scottish Qualification Authority at the International Culinary Institute (ICI) to cater her dream to ace as a culinary professional. Ms. Farhana’s culinary interest also made her successfully run a dessert online shop namely ‘Shades of Umber’ in Dhaka.