What is a Michelin Chef?
OurDeer is known for its recipes from Michelin chefs. But, many people ask, “What is a Michelin chef?”
Utmost Honor from an Unlikely Source
When you think of the most recognized rating system for restaurants or chefs, you may imagine it originates from a high end magazine or newspaper – or perhaps a television show.
But Michelin ratings – the most important culinary ratings in Western Europe – come from a tire maker. That’s right; Michelin tires originated the Michelin ratings for chefs and restaurants.
Actually, the rating system began as part of a travel guide for automobile drivers in the early 1900s. These Michelin Guides were vital to early automobile travel, since they helped drivers locate hard-to-find mechanics, tire dealers, and gasoline stations.
Once this useful information was included, it only made sense to also include information about the best hotels and restaurants for travelers. Thus, the Michelin star rating system was born.
How Chefs are Rated
All Michelin ratings are made by professionally trained experts who remain anonymous. According to Michelin, it’s “inspectors” revisit the 4,000 restaurants it reviews in France every 18 months; they revisit all other starred restaurants once a year.
The Michelin Guide rates the best chefs and restaurants using one to three stars. One star means a chef offers very good cuisine; two stars means the chef offers excellent cuisine that’s worth a detour.
Three stars are given only to chefs who offer exceptional cuisine, that’s worth a special trip to the restaurant.
A chef who receive any Michelin rating – but particularly a three star rating – often becomes more wealthy and famous than he would have without the rating. Likewise, if a chef looses stars, he suffers a loss of reputation – and may have to shut down his restaurant.