The reason why chef Eo Yun-Gwon is being sued The Michelin Guide

The Culinary Education Institute explains the Paris-based Michelin Guide, which is indeed a spin-off of the famous tire brand, was created in 1900 to encourage drivers to take road trips by giving them a directory of local attractions. It was a marketing tool to promote the tires and the extra drive to wear them out. By the 1920s, the guide was so popular that Michelin began charging for it. Restaurant reviews appeared in 1926 and a rating system – between one and three stars – was developed, according to Escoffier. Initiated explains that Michelin sends culinary professionals — all trained specifically to revise for the guide — to dine in secret at select establishments. They don’t take notes and often come back several times over the course of several months before weighing themselves.

The criteria for their stars – or even being included in the guide – are shrouded in mystery, which has created a cloud of controversy over the years. Former Michelin inspector Pascal Remy launched a scandal in the culinary world when he went public with allegations that there are only five inspectors to examine more than 1,000 restaurants in France, that starred restaurants are not examined on an annual basis and that examiners have been instructed to maintain the three-star status of Michelin’s sacred cows (via the Los Angeles Time).

Regardless of the controversy, a Michelin star is still coveted by most chefs and restaurateurs. However, a guide star is not necessarily the easy street route. Some Michelin-starred restaurants dropped their star because the expense was too high (via New York Times).

Calvin W. Soper