Michelin is Coming to Vancouver

Michelin has recently announced that, sometime this fall, they will put out a guide to dining in Vancouver. I would assume and hope that the guide will not only cover Vancouver, but also the surrounding suburbs like Richmond.

The Michelin Guide is a prestige award given to hotel kitchens and restaurants by the French tire company Michelin. The first guide was published in 1900 and only covered France.  Back then, there was no GPS or Google Maps, so to encourage car owners to drive around more (and therefore indirectly increase the demand for their tires), Michelin published a guide with maps showing hotels and gas stations. They later expanded their coverage to restaurants and their anonymous food inspectors began awarding stars to restaurants in the 1930s.  Theoretically, every restaurant can be listed in the guide but only certain restaurants are ranked based on various criteria established by Michelin.  The ranking system still maintained today is as follows:

1 star: High quality cooking, worth a stop!

2 stars: Excellent cooking, worth a detour!

3 stars: Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey!

Since 1955, the guide has also included “Bib Gourmand” restaurants, which offer good quality, good value cooking (Bibendum or Bib is the nickname of the Michelin Man logo used by Michelin).  In 2020, Michelin started giving restaurants green stars for gastronomy and sustainability.

The Michelin guide mostly covered France until the 2000s, when Michelin started to expand its coverage to other countries and cities.  Currently, Michelin publishes guides covering over 35 countries.  Finally, Michelin announced that they will publish a guide this year that will cover both Toronto and Vancouver.

Michelin’s putting this on the culinary map has been hailed as great news. This will make Vancouver even more of a destination for foodies and the guide will also assist the entire tourism industry.