How do you get the Michelin stars? What are the requirements? Who decides? A guide like the red one, with so much importance and repercussion, scrupulously takes care of the concession of its symbol, the stars, and to obtain one is not easy.
If there are some gastronomic awards especially appreciated by the critics, the public and the winners themselves, those are undoubtedly the stars of the most popular gastronomic guide, the stars of the Michelin guide. Since they were used in the publication as synonymous with the quality of the kitchen of a restaurant back in 1926, five years later the current classification system of one, two and three stars has adopted, the emblem of the red guide has not ceased to be an object of desire.
Because this universal gastronomic symbol is part responsible for the success or failure of many gastronomic projects. Obtain one, two, and we no longer speak of three stars, it means becoming a pole of attraction, assuring the clientele that a kitchen of proven quality is offered, ensuring that the media will speak of one. In the end, the Michelin stars are the closest thing that exists to an international classification of restaurants.
And once briefly reviewed the background and the importance of these badges, it is natural that a doubt arises ... how are Michelin stars awarded?
This is how it works
The red guide awards its Michelin stars according to the evaluations made by independent professional inspectors who visit restaurants around the world without ever revealing their identity.
The different teams available to the company are mainly constituted by personnel trained in catering schools or with experience in the sector for at least five years who, before reaching the status of inspector, must pass a training period lasting six months.
This instruction, in which you will learn everything that a plate must have so that the restaurant that serves it deserves one, two or three stars, will end if everything goes well with the allocation of a country. In the European case, a new inspector will be waiting around 30,000 kilometers to travel and about 250 visits to restaurants to perform.
In these visits, anonymous as we said at the beginning, the inspector, like any other client, will make the appropriate reservation, eat as one more and pay his invoice in full. That complete anonymity is what ensures that Michelin professionals do not receive any kind of pressure or better service and access the dishes as they are served on a regular basis.
The criteria for obtaining stars
And is that the stars only judge the quality of the kitchen of the restaurants, as they say the people responsible for the guide, "the stars are on the plate and only on the plate . " Neither decoration, nor service, nor level of comfort, nor environment of the premises are taken into account when granting them.
And what is taken into account to value a dish? Basically, as explained by Michelin, five fundamental criteria: the selection of products, creativity, mastery of the cooking point and flavors, the quality-price ratio and regularity.
With all these rules taken into account, the inspectors, the editor of the publication and the director of the Michelin guide meet twice a year to decide, collegially, the coveted stars. In these meetings the reports of each one of the inspectors are evaluated, they are submitted to debate and, finally, an agreement is reached by consensus on the new stars that must be granted, those that must be maintained and those that must be withdrawn.