Michelin Star


January 27, 2022

The Michelin star is an award for restaurants with good to very good cuisine and correct service in the famous Red Guides of the tire manufacturer Michelin. A limited number of restaurants are awarded one, two or three stars in each guide. These serve as an important valuation for gastronomic quality. In addition to the guide of competitor GaultMillau, the guide is considered an authority in the field of good food in many countries. The symbol used in the guide, although called a star (in French: étoile or macaron), looks more like a six-petaled flower.


Michelin already started publishing guides in 1900 to direct drivers to restaurants and hotels in France. These guides were all free of charge. The story goes that the Michelin brothers visited a garage and saw their guides being used to support workbenches. During the Interwar period, a Michelin guide to war tourism was also published. An example of this was the guidebook "L'Yser et la Côte belge" of 1920, which took you to numerous war relics, such as the most popular attraction Battery Pommern in Koekelare, the former largest cannon in the world. Around 1926 the guide with the first star for restaurants was introduced. Later in the 1930s, the second and third stars were added. The Michelin Red Guides published annually contain a selection of hotels and restaurants. There used to be one Red Guide for the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg together, since 2007 there has been one for the Netherlands separately. In terms of comfort and furnishing, the hotels and restaurants are classified with cottages (for the hotels) and cutlery (for the restaurants), from one cottage/cutlery for simple occasions to five for the absolute luxury class. However, this classification is independent of the award of Michelin stars, because these mainly have to do with the quality of the food. Restaurants are usually visited anonymously, except by the chief inspector, which means that the Michelin inspector does not reveal himself. When the annual guide is published, there is attention in the press for the award of stars. Getting a new star is considered by many chefs to be a mark of appreciation and can boost the restaurant's sales. Conversely, losing a star can hurt the reputation of the restaurant. That is why it is sometimes said that it is more challenging to keep Michelin stars than to get one. In 2004, a publication by a former Michelin inspector who had worked for the Red Guide for 16 years caused a stir with his revelations about how the guides were created. In the same year, three culinary journalists (under one pseudonym) criticized the entire guide culture; they spoke in their book of the "dictatorship" of Michelin. In 2005, Michelin listed a restaurant in the Benelux guide that had not yet opened, and immediately gave it the commendable rating with a "Bib gourmand". When this blunder became known, the entire print run was withdrawn from the market and a new edition appeared, without restaurant Ostend Queen. In 2006 American restaurants were discussed for the first time, in the first edition of the guide to New York. A guide to San Francisco Bay Area followed later that year. In March 2007, Michelin announced that employees had begun mapping restaurants in Tokyo. For this, mixed review teams were used, consisting of both Japanese and Europeans. The first guide to that city came out in November 2007 and sold out within a few days; In that first guide, 191 restaurants immediately received at least one Michelin star, making the city the most culinary city in the world according to Michelin. In 2008, Michelin published a guide to Hong Kong and Macau. 2016 saw further expansion in Asia with guides to Shanghai and Singapore

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