If you are in the culinary industry or know a thing or two about fine dining, you’ve probably heard the term ‘Michelin Star chef or restaurant.’ We know celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey and his restaurants hold numerous Michelin stars, but what exactly does that mean and where did it originate? Many renowned chefs around the world boast Michelin stars, and once you understand the concept, it will be easier to not only appreciate the term but also work towards achieving the same level of success.
The Michelin Star Guide became the bible for upcoming and professional chefs who wanted to make it big in the industry. It is seen as the ultimate guide to quality fine dining and is highly respected amongst foodies, restaurant owners, professional chefs and critics alike. Restaurants who have managed to earn their Michelin star will certainly promote itself that way as possessing it is one of the biggest honours a culinary institute can hold. That being said, restaurants need to be able to maintain its star status and it is not uncommon for restaurants to lose their stars should they fail to do so. In fact, Gordon Ramsey’s ‘The London’ hotel lost its two Michelin-star rating in 2013
Getting back to the origin of the Michelin stars, if the name sounds familiar, it is because Michelin is the name of a tyre company and the ones that brought the guide to life. But why would a tyre company be involved with fine dining and restaurants? Well, the origin behind it is pretty inspired. The first Michelin Star guide came out in 1990 in France and at this time, there were fewer than 3000 cars in the country. The Michelin brothers created the guide with the intent to increase the demand for cars and so increase the need for quality tyres. The first guide was very useful and included things like maps, hotels, restaurants and service stations in the area. The guide was then launched in Belgium a few years later, followed by numerous other countries in Europe.
What do Michelin Stars represent?
Michelin awards one, two or three stars, depending on the quality and standards of the restaurant:
- One star – This means the restaurant offers very good quality and high standard cuisine.
- Two stars – Two stars mean a restaurant has carefully and meticulously crafted dishes and outstanding food quality.
- Three stars – Three stars indicate a restaurant that provides exceptional cuisine, distinctive dishes, outstanding ingredients and an exceptional overall dining experience.
It is interesting to note that restaurants featured in the Michelin Guide are not necessarily star-rated. In fact, less than 5% of the restaurants in the guide are rated. The restaurant ‘inspectors’, as the guide calls them, are anonymous critics (most of them former chefs or experts in the industry) who rate the restaurants. These reviewers have to pass an official Michelin Guide training in France to be a qualified inspector. The restaurant rating is based on numerous factors, including food quality, consistency, technique, and personality, to name a few. What’s more, critics pay multiple visits to an establishment to ensure the best, most accurate rating. Chefs can also earn Michelin Stars, with some of the biggest names being Gordon Ramsey, Thomas Keller, Heston Blumenthal, Alain Ducasse, and Joel Robuchon, to name a few. While earning a Michelin star takes years of experience and expertise, it is possible as long as you have a love and passion for cooking. All you have to do is click here to view Chef Works, purchase some quality cooking accessories and take your first step to culinary greatness.