The History and Importance of The Michelin Guide -- What are Michelin Stars and where do they originate??

November 11, 2022 3 min read

Where do Michelin Stars Come From?

What Are Michelin Stars: How to Get Them and Why They Matter

In the restaurant industry, it's no secret that receiving Michelin Stars is one of the most prestigious honors a restaurant can receive. For chefs, it's a hard-won, inspiring moment of glory. For restaurants, it elevates the brand, attracting foodies, fans, and media.

Many Michelin Star chefs wear our premium chef apparel. For instance, if you were to pop into a Joël Robuchon restaurant you'll find our jackets throughout their open-concept kitchens. This doesn't mean that employee presentation will earn you stars but a lot of higher tiered restaurants like to present themselves as prim and professional as possible. 

To educate and encourage the great chefs of the future, we’re answering the most commonly questions about this highly sought-after award, including what Michelin Stars are, how to get them, and why they matter.


What Are Michelin Stars And How Did They Start?

Michelin stars are awarded by the Michelin Guide, a series of travel guidebooks first published in the early 1900s by the French tire company, Michelin. The guide was originally created as a way to promote tourism and travel, but soon became known for its evaluations of restaurants.

The guide began “starring” fine dining restaurants in 1926 so travelers could differentiate between fine dining and regular restaurants. This soon evolved into the 3-star rating system we see today.

Michelin today still exists as a tire company, producing incredible tires like the Pilot Sport 4S. Although it is now synonymous with the rating system and guide that brothers Andre and Edouard Michelin created over 100 years ago! 


What Factors Do Inspectors Consider When Evaluating A Restaurant?

The Michelin guide awards stars based on one thing only: “outstanding cooking." 

However, several factors go into deciding whether a restaurant has excellent cooking.

The quality of the ingredients, the dish's flavor balance, and the chef's mastery of procedures are all important considerations when evaluating a restaurant. The chef's personality and consistency between visits are also important.


Who Decides Whether A Restaurant Gets Michelin Stars?

Michelin guide sends anonymous employees, referred to as inspectors, to restaurants in select cities. They can eat at an establishment for as many visits as it takes to determine their rating. Prospective ratings are then discussed in a team setting and given a final award. Stars are awarded annually.


What Is A Michelin Star Chef And How Many Michelin Stars Can You Get?

It's important to clarify that Michelin stars are not awarded to any individual, including chefs. They’re awarded to restaurants. However, since getting a star is so difficult, chefs who help acquire them receive significant media attention and acclaim.

The number of stars a restaurant receives in any given rating year can range from one to three, with three being the highest rating.

A chef who's responsible for heading a restaurant that receives stars can accumulate stars over the course of their career. For example, if you work at 7 restaurants and 3 of them get 2 stars, you might be regarded as having "6 stars."


What’s The Difference Between 1, 2, and 3 Michelin Stars?

Michelin star meaning depends on the number of stars awarded.

One star means the restaurant is very good in its category.

When a chef's personality and culinary skill are clearly visible in their meals, they receive two Michelin Stars.

The highest prize is three Michelin stars, which are given for extraordinary cooking at the top of the field. Some of these recipes are considered legacy recipes that could become classics or go down in culinary history.


In Conclusion

Receiving Michelin stars is a crowning achievement for chefs and their teams, as well as for restaurants and establishments. Do you think we'll see more countries added to the list of established Michelin Guides in the future? We surely hope so! 

Have you ever eaten at a Michelin Star Restaurant yourself? If so comment below where you ate and what your experience was like! To learn more about the importance and history of the chefs uniform we find in so many restaurants today. Check out: The History and Importance of the Chef's Uniform!

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