A Michelin star is the most coveted award that any chef aspires for.
Although the Michelin star is awarded to a restaurant the credit for it goes to the chef in charge of the kitchen.
Michelin, the tyre company started their Michelin guide in the year 1904 as a road map to help motorists in France locate repair shops in case of car break downs and places to eat and stay on their journey. Gradually it evolved into a restaurant review benchmark for restaurants across Europe. Today it also rates restaurants in certain cities of America, Japan and of course Great Britain.
Michelin awards a maximum of three stars to the best establishments. A single star means the food served at the restaurant is of excellent quality in its category. Two stars means the food is good enough to take a detour for and three stars means the restaurant serves such excellent food that it deserves a special visit.
So how does someone become a Michelin star chef?
- Of course the first step is to become a chef. You can either take a course at a reputed culinary school, learn the basics, join the industry and work your way up the ladder; become a Commi 3, Commi 2, Commi 1, working at the different kitchen stations, then moving on to first junior then senior chef de partie. Next step up the ladder is the position of the sous chef and finally you will reach the position of the chef. An amateur has to start their career even lower in the brigade as an assistant in the kitchen, washing dishes and working their way up till they can head the kitchen.
- Once you become a chef it is your passion and creativity that will speak for you. How you blend flavours, how you present each dish, how clean your kitchen are all important factors that matter to the Michelin inspector.
- The most important factor that every Michelin inspectors places immense value on is consistency. The inspectors are anonymous and visit the restaurants a number of times before reaching their decision. Each and every time they have to have a flawless experience.
- The freshness and quality of the ingredients is of prime importance to the Michelin inspectors. That along with the cooking, the presentation of the dish and the harmony of the flavours in the dish decides the worthiness of an establishment.
To qualify for a Michelin star firstly your restaurant has to be located in an area covered by Michelin. If it is, then your journey to the stars begins by your food speaking for itself among the locals, the food bloggers, the food writers and critics. Once a buzz is created the Michelin inspectors will come visiting and you will be completely unaware of it. So your entire concentration should be on producing top class food, using the best and freshest ingredients, consistently. Then if you are lucky you may receive a phone call that says “Bonjour, this is (name) with Le Guide Michelin. We are calling to inform you that you will be included as One Star in the next Michelin guide for (city)”.