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Curious About the Michelin Review Process?

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Michelin, that century-old dining guide, is peeling back the curtain on their restaurant review process with a cheeky new illustration. The vertical comic details how their team tests, selects, and compiles some of the world's best restaurants. To see the drawing on the organization's site, click here.

Each year, the process involves nearly 500 people and comprises roughly five steps. First, the editor-in-chief prepares an itinerary for the regional inspectors. Then, inspectors, each with their own specialized region, visit and test various hotels and restaurants. Third, they return to their respective Michelin offices, report their findings, and begin the star selection process to determine how many of their coveted stars each establishment deserves. Next, they draft reports for each lucky mention. And last, they compile the reports, add images and maps, and send off the draft to the publishers.

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Michelin, as an institution, often comes under fire for perpetuating a euro-centric approach to restaurant criticism. The guide, which began in France, is said to adhere to a dining standard that leans heavily European. The European continent, for example, has over 15,000 Michelin-recognized establishments to East and Southeast Asia’s roughly 700. Latin America, meanwhile, can claim only 172. The illustration touches on their guiding standards. It reads: “The role of our inspectors is not to judge a country’s gastronomy. They are there to assess the quality of the ingredients, the harmony of the flavors, and the chef’s personality as expressed in their cuisine.”

As for the people that make the magic happen? The comic boils it down to three groups of people: the customers, the inspectors, and the service professionals. All three are instrumental in bringing the annual guide to life. I’m particularly interested in the note that says each inspector anonymously tastes around 250 meals a year. Where do I sign up?

Do you go by the Michelin guide? Let us know your best Michelin meals in the comments.

Tags: michelin, reviews, cartoon, explainer