What exactly is a Michelin star?
Restaurants receive a Michelin star for their outstanding culinary skills. When evaluating, we consider five aspects: the quality of ingredients, the harmony of flavours, the sophistication of the techniques used, and the extent to which the chef’s personality is reflected in the food. Finally, one of the most important aspects is that the quality of the food should be consistent throughout the menu, and that the particular venue should be able to maintain the same level over time, for example within a year.
What is the difference between one, two or three Michelin stars?
One Michelin star is awarded to restaurants that prepare high-quality food from high-quality ingredients and can consistently maintain this level.
Two Michelin stars are awarded to places where the chef’s talent and personality are fully reflected in perfectly prepared dishes. We’re talking about inspiring, sophisticated and high-quality cuisine.
Three Michelin stars is the highest rating. This recognition is given to restaurants where chefs have developed the art of cooking to the highest level, where gastronomy represents essentially artistic value, and where the food holds the promise of becoming a classic.
Are Michelin stars awarded annually?
Yes. In addition to awarding new stars, it is also part of our mission to check annually whether restaurants that already have a star maintain the same high standard at which they earned this recognition.
Does the restaurant’s decor and style affect the evaluation?
No, we only take into account what is on the board, nothing else. That’s all that matters. Restaurant style: formal or more direct, does not affect the rating at any level.
Who are the decision makers?
The famously anonymous Michelin inspectors make the decisions. Inspectors are professionals from the world of gastronomy or catering, who work full time evaluating restaurants. After several inspectors visit a particular restaurant, they discuss their experiences in order to finally make a joint decision on the star.
How many times did they visit the restaurant before making the decision?
Whenever we feel the need to get a complete picture. Consistency is extremely important when awarding Michelin stars, so we have to make sure that the kitchen delivers the same standard on different days and at different times of the day. We return to a place many seasons and it is equally important to know if the restaurant can offer the same quality for lunch and dinner on weekdays and weekends.
What do they usually order at this time?
We try as many dishes as possible throughout the year, as this is the only way we know if all the dishes in the restaurant are at the same level.
Do you eat alone or as a couple?
Factor. Sometimes alone, sometimes in pairs – and sometimes we arrive with a larger group. No matter what happens, the decision is always made together.
How important is it for a Michelin inspector to have international experience?
This is fundamentally necessary for work. Inspectors are constantly on the road and visit countries around the world where the Michelin Guide currently operates. Due to the experience gained during the flights, all inspectors have a comprehensive knowledge of the world’s cuisines, ensuring that they will be able to decide on stars based on the same principles and criteria.
Is the service included in the evaluation?
No, it is not included. It is entirely up to the restaurant what type of service they choose, and this does not influence the decision in any way.
Does the wine list matter that much in a restaurant?
Restaurants that take the art of cooking seriously usually take for granted an exciting and interesting wine or drink pairing that balances the food. These two things go hand in hand.
Can any type of restaurant compete for the star?
Yes, depending on the cuisine and style, any restaurant can compete for a star.
Do restaurants have to apply for a star?
Restaurants already included in the Michelin Guide are reviewed regularly, and do not need to submit a separate application to receive a star. Restaurants have nothing to do, inspectors travel, taste and decide. By the way, all restaurants are free to contact us about being considered for inclusion in the guide, and we are always happy to receive recommendations from our readers.
Is there a limit to the number of stars awarded annually?
No, there is not. We usually have a lot of candidates during the year, but many of them withdraw when we feel they cannot bring and maintain the same quality. Maybe the first time we had a couple of great dishes, then the next time we went, it wasn’t up to par, the food was forgettable. There are kitchens that need more time to mature, and we are keeping our eyes open and watching for changes.
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the pictures: Unsplash