Mar 17, 2017

Michelin Stars

The first The Michelin Guide for French drivers in 1900 included maps, listings of hotels, gas stations and mechanics, and helpful information for repairing tires. At the time there were only 3,000 automobiles in all of France. The forward-thinking Michelin brothers thought providing information for car travelers, would increase interest in French automobile tourism, which would in turn increase demand for cars and tires. The first US guide came during 2005.

During 1920, the guide started sending anonymous reviewers out to rate restaurants. A few years later, Michelin began ranking restaurants using a rating system of one to three stars. Michelin stars are used to judge the quality of the food at a restaurant only, independent of any other aspects of the dining experience.
• One star = A very good restaurant in its category
• Two stars = Excellent cooking, worth a detour
• Three stars = Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey

An additional designation of a small knife and fork, known as “couvert,” describes other aspects of the restaurant’s experience like comfort, venue décor, tabletop décor, and level of formality. A black fork and knife icon denotes a more basic experience, while a red icon indicates superior couvert.
Michelin inspectors, who have extensive training and experience in the field are required to hide their jobs from friends and even family members. They recruit dates to accompany them to romantic restaurants, so they do not stand out as solo diners. Some  visit a restaurant multiple times to most accurately judge the quality and consistency of the experience.


Incidentally, Bib is the Michelin Man’s nickname. He is also referred to as Bibendum or Bibelobis.