The mystery about the Michelin star ratings

Michelin stars! There is a lot going on in the world of restaurants when it comes to the famous Michelin stars. For outsiders itÔÇÖs always been a question what the fuzz is really about and why do they mean ultimate accolade for chefs. LetÔÇÖs start with a brief history of how Michelin stars originated and how this rating system works. The Michelin stars rating system is not about a list of top restaurants or best chefs around the world but it is a standard of quality food, used by the best known and highly reputed restaurants. The restaurant doesnÔÇÖt need to be lavish and highly priced but no doubt the prices do increase after a restaurant gets a star (or another one).
Back in 1988 Andr├® Michelin, a French industrialist distributed free guides to drivers and travellers in which he wrote about best places to stay and eat with the purpose to guide them in cities they visited for the first time. The guide became very popular and in 1974 the first UK guide of Michelin stars hit the market in 1974. Since then, Michelin has been rating restaurants and foods on the basis of quality of their ingredients, their cooking skills and the combination of flavors used for best value of money. Other factors like culinary standards or d├®cor of the place are signposted by fork & spoon signs but they donÔÇÖt affect the overall star ratings. But to get a star, your restaurant needs to be in an area covered by the Michelin.
The Michelin food inspectors visit shortlisted restaurants every 18 months and move them up or down the list and eventually rate them with stars. Every meal is awarded a report from the inspectors and in order to ensure consistency in quality, they may travel over continents to visit some restaurant. The stars awarded to the restaurant have their own meanings. LetÔÇÖs take a look at what the this rating system stands for.
One Michelin star
One star restaurant; according to Michelin guides signifies a good restaurant with best value of money for food.
Two Michelin stars
Two stars rating is the symbol of exotic cooking and exceptional flavors with a touch of mind-blowing d├®cor of the restaurant.
Three Michelin stars
Three stars restaurants are worth a detour with extra ordinary culinary standards and a special cuisine which will give you something to think about the food long after you went there.

In 2006 another rating was added to the Michelin star guide; the rising star distinction, which was awarded to the restaurants which had aptitude to move up in the Michelin list of eateries.
With the varying trends of dining and cuisines, the Michelin had to adjust but it still is the only international system of rating haute cuisine and people trust, just like they did decades ago! For some nouvelle chefs and restaurants, the Michelin is merely an old-fashioned and restrictive way to grade quality of food. And they might be right, keeping in mind that restaurants must work for impressing customers; not to earn futile stars.

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