What’s all the hoopla for a bright red book with a marshmallow man on its cover?
It’s the famous Guide Michelin. The Guide Michelin or Red Guide is a series of annual guide books published by the French company Michelin. It is the oldest restaurant reference guide, which awards stars for excellence to a select few establishments.
How was the Guide Michelin born?
So how in the world does a French tire company Michelin make world renowned chefs sweat more for recognition in their book than from the heat in the kitchen?
The Michelin guide was created in 1900 to encourage people with cars to travel (and, therefore, use their tires!). They were given away and contained helpful information with maps, lists for gas stations, mechanics, and restaurants. Soon guides for other countries were published. Later, based on the principle that “man only truly respects what he pays for,” the Michelin brothers decided to charge money for the guide. They also made several changes, notably: listing restaurants by specific categories. The restaurant section started becoming very popular. So the Michelin brothers hired a team of inspectors that visited and reviewed restaurants anonymously. In 1926 they started awarding stars for fine dining. The three-star system was created in 1931. Now in France, the publication of Michelin stars for restaurants is comparable to an Oscar in Hollywood.
How do you “earn” a star?
Michelin awards 0 to 3 stars based on the anonymous reviews. Each inspector tries the restaurant anonymously, then they meet together to compare notes. The inspectors concentrate on the quality, mastery of technique, personality and consistency of the food, in making the reviews.
The stars are awarded as follows:
•One star: A good place to stop on your journey, indicating a very good restaurant in its category, offering cuisine prepared to a consistently high standard.
•Two stars: A restaurant worth a detour, indicating excellent cuisine and skillfully and carefully crafted dishes of outstanding quality
•Three stars: A restaurant worth a special journey, indicating exceptional cuisine where diners eat extremely well, often superbly. Distinctive dishes are precisely executed, using superlative ingredients.
Who are the stars of 2016?
The Michelin 2016 names 600 starred restaurants, with 54 newcomers. The guide Michelin France, usually sold in 150.000 examples, is available since February 5th.
Want to “taste” what all the fuss is about? Here are some “stars” that are you can find along a Discover France itinerary.
Au Crocodile – Strasbourg You’ll spend a night in Strasbourg during the Alsace Wine Route.
Restaurant PY-R – Toulouse When visiting the Midi-Pyrenees and the Canal du Midi, you have the opportunity to spend two nights in Toulouse and try this restaurant.
Restaurant Initial – Caen You can dine in this restaurant on our Normandy tours. The tours begin and spend several nights in Caen.
Loft Culinaire La Favre d’Anne – Angers When in Angers on our Loire – Chambord to Atlantic tour take the time to dine in this restaurant.
Restaurant la Passagère – Antibes/Juan les Pins You spend a night in Antibes/Juan les Pins during the Provence Mont Ventoux to French Riviera, an occasion to sample their cuisine with the best view of the bay.
Restaurant Jan – Nice Here is another occasion for fine “star” dining on the Provence Mont Ventoux to French Riviera tour.
Restaurant Peir – Gordes You don’t even have to leave your hotel the Bastide de Gordes for dinner in a prestigious restaurant. This is your hotel on the Upgraded version of our Provence Hiking, Gordes Provencal Escape, Mont Ventoux to Luberon, Provence Best Of
French cuisine already has a great reputation, now why not try the “crème de crème” of fine dining? The stars of the Michelin guide!