What’s In A (Michelin) Star

You learn about advanced preparation techniques in your online cooking school and you may relate this to your own dining out experiences. But have you ever wondered how fine dining establishments get rated? While user-generated content provides averages of star ratings for some online websites or restaurant apps, there are some highly coveted ratings for gourmet dining in the world.

A Michelin Star is arguably the highest honor for a chef and his or her restaurant. Michelin began rating restaurants in 1900 in France. The company’s hope was that as people traveled around they would know about some of the best establishments to go for a delicious meal. For the first few years, Michelin continued to provide readers with guides and reviews around France. Soon, it developed a coveted three-star rating system that is still in place today.

Michelin employs food tasters to anonymously review restaurants and judge the technique, quality and consistency of the food. Factors such as decor and service are not taken into account for Michelin-rated restaurants. The main focus of Michelin awards is the food and how it was prepared –  not on the ambiance or formal setting. This differs from online restaurant guides, which may calculate ratings based on several outside factors, such as speed of service, prices and politeness of the host.

One Michelin star signifies that the restaurant provided superior food to the rest in the industry. Two stars are awarded to restaurants with excellent cooking techniques – these restaurnats  are considered among the best in the industry. Finally, the coveted three Michelin stars are only handed to a select few restaurants that are worth traveling across the world. Foodies with a penchant for fine dining may go to great lengths in order to try a Michelin three-star restaurant.

In general, a majority of restaurants will not receive Michelin stars. The quality and standard of food necessary for even one star is exceptional and difficult for many chefs to master. Some cities covered by the Michelin system are Dallas, Chicago and New York City. However, the Michelin rating system is not limited to U.S. restaurants.

If you want to see first-hand what some of the world’s finest chefs are conjuring up in the kitchen, get your passport and buy a plane ticket to England, France, Japan or any of the other countries with a Michelin rating system.

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