Food - Drink
Here's Why Michelin Stars Get Taken Away
Michelin Stars are some of the most prestigious recognitions in the world of fine dining, and are awarded to restaurants by a host of anonymous, traveling food critics. However, Michelin can take away stars, too, and the murky process of losing a star can be devastating to restaurants and their chefs as it’s presumably linked to a reduction in quality.
The five criteria for stars are quality of ingredients, harmony of flavors, mastery of techniques, creativity and personality, and consistency — which is thought to be the most important element. The loss can be very hard on the chef, for example, Gordon Ramsay cried when two stars were taken from his former New York City restaurant in 2013.
The damage of a lost star can go beyond a blow to self-esteem — losing a star can be hard on business as there’s often an uptick in a location’s traffic after earning stars, while the loss can take that business away. In 2019, chef Marc Veyrat sued Michelin for removing stars, claiming that the guide did not provide sufficient transparency.
Veyrat lost the suit, but his criticism was not isolated, as the 2021 California guide received many complaints after several restaurants lost stars during the COVID-19 pandemic for no discernible reason. The guide’s apparent inconsistency of standards in U.S. cities have led to questions of competence and a European-skewed bias by the company.