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The rising of the Michelin Star

7th June 2013

Did you know that When British Chef Marco Pierre White was 33, he was the youngest chef at the time to be awarded three Michelin stars? When he retired in 1999 he handed back his stars, claiming he gave them too much credit.

3 Michelin star Librije restaurant

Well, despite what one of Britain’s most colourful celebrity chef thinks, the famed Michelin red book is one of the world’s most prestigious restaurant guides. We take a look at the Academy Awards of cuisine to find out what it takes to get that famous star.

The Michelin star a rating system that turns restaurants into household names and chefs into rock stars, but there’s more to gaining this accolade than just an expensive price tag and avant-garde ingredients.

Much like a Heston Blumenthal meal from the three-starred Fat Duck, it’s a tricky formula that requires time, attention to detail and innovation. But get the balance right and you’re onto a recipe for success.

Originating in France in 1900, the first Michelin guide was published as a small book designed to promote the joys of road travel and in turn, Michelin Tyres. So popular was the original guide that Michelin continued with the idea, growing the red book into a restaurant guide that rated the culinary experience.

With such a vast history to draw upon, Michelin is now the most esteemed restaurant guide in the world and entry into the guide is a prestigious honour bestowed upon restaurants all around the globe.

At last count, the company had over 25 annual guides highlighting more than 45,000 establishments from all over the world.

Such a large number should not be confused with a directory. Entry into the guide is subject to strict criteria with anonymous professional inspectors carefully selecting restaurants based on repeated test meals throughout the year. As a result, only the very best restaurants make the cut and are awarded a star.

The highest Michelin star rating is three, which has only been awarded to 108 restaurants, the majority of which can be found in Japan, France and Germany.

Have you had a Michelin star experience? Tell us about it in the comments below.