The Michelin Guide is officially acknowledging what all Canadians already knew – that Canada is home to truly excellent food. Today, the famed guide has announced that they will be expanding into Canada, starting by awarding their prestigious Stars to restaurants in Toronto. Inspectors have already begun visiting Toronto restaurants to prepare the list for its upcoming launch. Read on for answers to all of your burning questions.
What exactly is the Michelin Guide?
Originally published in 1904 by the French tire company Michelin (yes, of the Michelin Man fame) as a guide to help French motorists find lodging on the road, the Michelin Guides have come to be a gold standard for restaurant reviews and rankings worldwide.
How do Michelin ratings work?
Inspectors award Michelin Stars – one, two or three – for outstanding cooking, with three Stars being the ultimate accolade that denotes “superlative cooking of chefs at the peak of their profession; their cooking is elevated to an art form and some of their dishes are destined to become classics”. They also bestow Bib Gourmand ratings on restaurants that offer great quality food at good prices, and they award the Michelin Green Star to restaurants involved in sustainable gastronomy.
Can any restaurant receive a Michelin Star?
Yes, any restaurant, regardless of price range, interior decoration, or formality, can apply for and receive a Michelin Star if the inspectors deem it worthy of one. Inspectors apply five universal criteria to any restaurant they review: quality of the products, mastery of flavours, mastery of cooking techniques, the personality of the chef in the cuisine and consistency between visit.
What took them so long to come to Canada?
The expansion into Canada is a long time coming – it has been in the works for four years and was initially slated for spring 2020, but was pushed due to the pandemic.
When can we see the list of Toronto restaurants?
The highly anticipated list will be unveiled in fall 2022. While we can only guess which frontrunners will make the list (like critic favourites Alo and Cafe Boulud), we hope to see a diverse selection of Toronto chefs represented, particularly BIPOC and women chefs.
Will Michelin be expanding to any other Canadian cities?
So far, Michelin has only confirmed their expansion into Toronto. However, this expansion is a major step towards acknowledging the greatness of Canadian cuisine, and we can only guess that more of Canada is soon to be recognized.