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  • Starr Wlodarski

Michelin Stars: Brief History

One of the things I offer clients is to research and recommend restaurants close to their accommodations, so the Michelin Guide is an essential tool for not only gourmands but luxury travel advisors too.

All chefs desire the infamous Michelin Stars. When a restaurant receives one Michelin Star, it is a clear indication that a restaurant has flourished and succeeded to a higher level. Surprisingly, the Michelin guides had very little to do with cuisine as they originally initiated as guidebooks published by the French tire company Michelin for more than a century. The term coined from the Michelin Red Guide, the oldest European hotel and restaurant reference guide, grants up to three Michelin stars to a select few restaurants. The businesses can be influenced dramatically by the addition or loss of the Michelin Star. PBS had a documentary about The Inn at Little Washington about them attaining their 3rd star. Very stressful for the owners and staff waiting for the announcement . Once a restaurant obtains all three, the restaurant is usually booked for months in advance and is written about in every culinary publication.

The era of Michelin Stars came to place as the increase of demand in cars, and tire manufacturers became more apparent. The company had started in 1889 as brothers Edouard, and Andre Michelin published a guide for French motorists explaining the repair and replacement instructions, car mechanics listings, hotels, gas stations, and more throughout France. They joined in to look for a method to draw in the limited number of drivers to make more journeys and, as a result, buy more tires to increase their profit. The first print included 35,000 free copies of the guide that displayed the wealth of information for motorists showcasing the best meals and accommodation while touring in their vehicles. As time went on, the business expanded along with the guide.

The publication of the guide had been suspended during World War I; however, the publication resumed by 1920. As the brothers ramped up the quality of the guide, they began to change them. The first actual Michelin star ratings were given in 1926, and a few years later, the rating system expanded to become the Michelin three-star rating in 1931. The dining component was in such high demand that Michelin decided to set up a team of anonymous inspectors to visit and rate restaurants based on this three-tier scale.

three stars exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey

two stars as excellent cuisine, worth a detour,

one star as a high-quality cooking, worth a stop

In 1997 they introduced the Bib Gourmand rating for good quality, good value cuisine.

In 2005, Michelin reached the United States and published its first American guide covering 500 restaurants in five boroughs of New York City and 50 hotels in Manhattan.

Presently, the renowned Michelin Stars are awarded selectively to a small number of restaurants globally for superior quality. Suppose you are an aspiring chef or enjoy renowned cuisines. In that case, it is recommended to go to popular cities like Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas, as the Michelin Guide only touches on a small number of US cities. It currently covers 23 countries, with 14 editions sold in 90 countries.

If fine dining is one of the top 3 things you love to do when traveling, contact me and we’ll take care of all those reservations from hotels to restaurants for you.

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