Have you ever wondered what criteria a restaurant must meet in order to get the most highly acclaimed rating in the world? In reality, the process is a lengthy one that requires far more than simply cooking good food. There's a reason why restaurants spend so many years trying to get more than one Michelin star and there's also a reason why so few restaurants actually carry these ratings. With that being said, the system is one that's hit or miss - while the title of being 'Michelin-rated' does carry with it plenty of weight, it doesn't mean there aren't restaurants out there without Michelin stars that aren't just as wonderful.
So, when it comes to determining what makes a restaurant Michelin-worthy and what doesn't, what do the hoops look like? There's plenty of jumping that must happen before these stars are given out, and it requires more than you think.
What Is A Michelin Star, And How Was The Ranking System Created?
Originally, the Michelin star system was created as an incentive to encourage tourists to stop at various restaurants throughout France. And, yes, it's that Michelin - the star rankings were given by the tire company in an effort to encourage more road trip travel which, in turn, would boost tire sales.
Therefore, the marketing tactic caught on, and around the world, restaurants have been striving to get those three stars - or at least one - as they're still viewed as a symbol of being worthy of a road trip. In order to receive a star, a restaurant must fit one of three categories for each star ranking: 'a very good restaurant' in this category for one, 'excellent cooking, worth a detour' for two, and 'exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey' for three.
How Michelin Stars Are Given
The ranking system for Michelin stars relies mainly on five criteria. Those five considerations are as follows: the use of high-quality ingredients, having chefs that possess mastery in their craft, how the food tastes, savoir-faire, and consistency in both the food as well as the dining experience overall. Together, these criteria help to determine whether or not a restaurant is eligible for one star, let alone multiple stars. It also serves as the basis for giving out the stars but getting there is the part of the process that's tricky - and there are multiple routes to Michelin success.
For a restaurant trying to be awarded this honor, it's recommended that they do multiple things and there are multiple paths by which stars are awarded. The first recommendation is to work side-by-side with a chef who has earned a Michelin star already. By training under a chef who has been awarded a Michelin star, it can put other chefs and restaurants on the radar and allows them to learn first-hand what it takes.
If a chef isn't doing this, then there are still a number of ways to prepare a restaurant for a Michelin star. The first is by being as meticulous as possible, and this doesn't just mean having a spotless kitchen. This also means that every meal service gets executed to a near-perfect level, with nary a mistake or oversight. When it comes to Michelin stars, the service of a restaurant is just as important as the food that's being served. While most of the emphasis is on the food, it also depends on the chef and their staff - a chef must have the utmost discipline in order to receive the praise and attention required of a Michelin star. This goes hand-in-hand with the investment made on the part of the chef and/or owner; whatever profits the restaurant makes should go back into further creating an excellent experience as well as honing food talents with improvements to the menu as time goes on.
In terms of the food itself and the culinary art, restaurant staff must demonstrate mastery in accordance with their dishes or cuisine style. This means executing each dish with flair and confidence, and knowing how to handle all of the flavors that shine through in it. With that being said, creativity is a large part of earning a Michelin star, as well. Whether it's a feat in molecular gastronomy or finding a way to transform the old into something new and exciting, there are no limits when it comes to what a Michelin star entails. As long as a chef demonstrates artistic skill, discipline, and professionalism when it comes to the cuisine they're working with, they have a good chance.