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What are Michelin Stars and how are they obtained?
Michelin stars were implemented in 1936 by the Michelin automotive company, as a way to rate restaurants according to the quality, creativity and care in the dishes and service provided by their establishments.
Brothers André and Edouard Michelin observed the increase of people traveling by vehicle, and as a result, the increased number of travelers requiring places to eat and sleep during their trips. This led to the Michelin Guide in the year 1900, featuring hotels, restaurants and roads, with a first run of 35,000 copies.
In its beginnings, the publication was only included as a gift with the purchase of tires. Years later, in 1910, the first edition of the Michelin Guide of Hotels of Spain & Portugal was published, and began to be distributed and commercialized in 1920 with a culinary critique, initially based on customer recommendations and then anonymous visits… now it is an essential reference to Michelin Starred establishments.
What are the rating standards?
Before obtaining its first star, the candidate venue receives four visits from national inspectors. The second star is awarded after ten visits from both national and French inspectors. The third is only obtained after meticulous scrutiny by international inspectors.
Few establishments and chefs have managed to obtain this coveted recognition, and those who have, make a continuous effort to maintain their stars, as inspectors remain anonymous. Inspectors are experts in evaluating whether the quality, mastery of technique, personality and consistency of food is worthy of this award of excellence.
Value of each star
Restaurants may receive up to three Michelin Stars:
● One star implies that the venue is very good in its category and is nationally acclaimed.
● Two stars means having first-class quality in that type of cuisine, with international renown and visits from international diners.
● Obtaining a third star is synonymous with exceptional cuisine, and being among the best in the world, sufficient to justify a trip with the sole purpose of dining at the restaurant.
Michelin Stars are one of the most important international rating systems, allowing chefs to compare and compete with one other. They also provide a reference for tourists, recommending places to visit if you find yourself in the vicinity; these restaurants may be the highlight of your trip.
Stars in Mexico
Although there isn’t a Michelin guide for every country, there are four Mexican restaurants that have their Michelin star: Mexique, by Chef Carlos Gaytán in Chicago, Punto MX by Chef Roberto Ruiz in Madrid, Casa Enrique by Chef Cosme Aguilar in New York and Hoja Santa in Barcelona, by Paco Méndez and Albert Adriá.
And did you know that Los Cabos has a restaurant with a chef who has received two Michelin stars? World-renowned Chef Sidney Schutte delights diners at creative cuisine restaurant Cocina de Autor; part of luxury All Inclusive resort Grand Velas Los Cabos.
Cocina de Autor has a menu of specialties created with local ingredients, which combined with avant-garde techniques, create new and unique flavors. In addition, its interiors and exteriors are designed for admiring the gardens and lily ponds outside.
For Sidney, having received two Michelin stars means everything to him, his team, the restaurant and the business involved, as this important recognition placed him on the map, and there are people who travel just for the pleasure of sampling his creations.
As such a significant guide that normally requires a gradual review process, Schutte was not expected to receive two Michelin stars so quickly; most chefs and restaurants aspire to earn one and having obtained it, yearn for two and then three; the maximum recognition in the culinary world.
Sidney Schutte now leads Cocina de Autor of Grand Velas, but also works in Hong Kong and Shanghai, and that is precisely what makes his work so special to him; being able to do what he loves anywhere in the world.
If you’re looking for additional restaurant rating systems, recommendations and referrals, there are other official lists of the best in the world, such as the list of the 50 best restaurants by San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, sponsors of the British magazine “Restaurant”, which features Mexican restaurants Pujol, Quintonil and Biko. Also, with sites like TripAdvisor and FourSquare it is now easier than ever to read reviews and find great places to eat.