Nothing gives better distinction to achievements than recognition from notable and qualified award giving bodies. Actors covet trophies by doing their best in their roles the same way restaurants do their utmost best to gain a star from the prestigious Michelin Guide.
The Michelin Guide refers to any of a small number of publications published by Michelin for over a dozen countries in Europe, America and Asia, the majority of awarded restaurants predominantly in Europe and the U.S.. Most recognized by the world of restaurateurs, diners, critics and gourmets is its Red Guide, the oldest guide which confers the much coveted Michelin stars.
The group also comes out with the Green Guide which covers establishments related to travel and tourism. In recent years other publications have also been released to recognize other achievements in hospitality, food and travel, Guide Voyageur Pratique for independent travel, Guide Gourmand for good-value eating-places, Guide Escapade for quick breaks and Guide Coup de Cœur for favorite hotels.
The publication is over 100 years old and traces its origins in 1900 when a certain André Michelin came out with the first edition of a guide to assist travelers in France find good meals; maintain their vehicles; and find decent accommodations. After 30 years, and several editions, it went beyond simple listings for automotive services and began recognizing exceptional restaurants by awarding them with one, two or three stars.
Fast forward 110 years later, Red Guides are now published in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium/Luxembourg, Italy, Spain & Portugal, Switzerland, and Great Britain & Ireland as well as city guides for Paris, London, Tokyo, Kyoto/Osaka, Hokkaido, Hong Kong and Macau, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Las Vegas.
The rating system followed by Michelin is regarded as the simplest method of scoring restaurants, with only around 100 restaurants given three stars denoting exceptional cuisine and “worth a special journey”; two stars are for excellent cooking, “worth a detour”; one star denotes a very good restaurant in its category, “worth a stop.” It seems too simplistic and traces its roots from the time the publication was a motorist’s guide.
The guide is highly regarded by both consumers and establishments as the stars cannot be solicited and are awarded based on the assessment of anonymous and independent reviewers who do not identify themselves in the establishment they’re dining in. They pay for their own meals as well rather than accept entertainment as this could be viewed as lobbying.