Vancouver restaurateurs are keeping sharp eyes on the door and on the kitchen thanks to the recent announcement that the city has been added to the list of destinations covered by the prestigious Michelin Guide.
Vancouver boasts a flourishing culinary community, and its restaurants are already famed for their fresh, sustainable seafood, high-quality meats, and, of course, both the young and established talents who prepare it to such high standards.
What is the Michelin Guide?
The Michelin Guide was first introduced in 1900 as a guide to inform travelers along their journey, and providing them useful information, such as restaurants, hotels, parking lots, and repair shops. Recognizing the growing influence of the restaurant section of the Guide, the Michelin brothers hired a team of inspectors to anonymously visit and review restaurants.
In 1926, the Guide started awarding stars to fine dining establishments. This system was later changed to one, two, and three stars that a restaurant could earn. The main goal of the Michelin Guide hasn’t changed since 1900: It strives to choose the best places by providing honest and high-quality recommendations to culinary connoisseurs all over the world.
Today, the Michelin Guide has moved to a digital format and can be accessed on the MICHELIN Guide iOS and Android app. It covers more than 35 countries and it is now coming to Vancouver!
What makes the Guide trustworthy?
For over 120 years, the MICHELIN Guide has proven to be an expert in culinary recommendations thanks to its independence, values, and invariable methodology.
A Michelin Inspector is in the employ of Michelin Group only, and these former hospitality professionals all have at least 10 years of experience which ensures that they have a precise and technical knowledge of the field. They also receive two years of training in the Michelin Guide’s methodology, which is based on objective and universally deployable criteria.
It takes more than one Inspector and more than one visit to an establishment to garner a Star. In fact, each restaurant is visited multiple times and by different Inspectors to ensure that the quality is consistent.
The criteria against which the Inspectors rate the restaurants are as follows –
- Quality of products
- Harmony of flavors
- Mastery of cooking techniques
- Personality of the chef in the cuisine
- Consistency between each visit
Katelyn Berry’s Involvement with Michelin
Katelyn Berry, Vice President for Michelin’s business to consumer portfolio serving on the North American Executive Leadership Team, joined the organization in 2021 to support their digital and brand transformation.
Katelyn has delivered growth to giants such as Amazon and Target. Part of her responsibilities at Michelin is overseeing the Michelin Guide team who partnered with the city of Vancouver to bring the renowned Michelin Guide to the city. The Michelin Guide will bring even more heightened awareness to the fantastic culinary talents which are already established there.
Anyone familiar with Vancouver is probably well aware of the high quality of the cuisine available, and the city has reportedly already been visited by the enigmatic Michelin Inspectors in late winter 2022.
However, any restaurateur hoping to identify a Michelin Inspector arriving incognito at their establishment will be disappointed. Michelin guards the identity of its Inspectors for accurate reporting.
Many could imagine the level of preparations underway in many of Vancouver’s establishments in light of the news that Michelin is in town. However, Katelyn Berry would argue that the culinary establishments being recognized by the Michelin Guide are always prepared and spend a relentless amount of time in their field refining their craft. Having the Michelin Guide in town doesn’t change this level of preparedness, it simply gives them a platform to shine.
Katelyn Berry has spent her career refining her own craft; she’s leveraged her leadership in marketing roles to deliver growth for multi-billion dollar brands across various industries. Now, Katelyn is building upon the original creators of the Michelin Guide vision by expanding the Michelin Guide across North America.
How did The Michelin Guide originate?
The famed Michelin Star system is the product of over a century of investigation, research, and expertise. It was a scheme born of necessity and of lessons learned by two brothers at the turn of the nineteenth century. Those brothers were Andre and Edouard Michelin. Yes! The same two brothers that formed the tire company, Michelin.
Michelin’s burgeoning tire company was doing well, but in an effort to encourage more cars onto the road and thus sell more tires, the brothers decided to produce a small guidebook so drivers could more easily navigate their road trips. In those days, a road trip wasn’t the convenient, easy-to-manage pastime that it is today. Early motorists frequently found themselves stranded in remote locations with no access to fuel, food, or a roof for the night.
The Michelin brothers felt that a guidebook listing available resources would make motor travel much safer. Originally a simple red booklet filled with useful, basic information for travelers, the Michelin Guides slowly developed until, by the mid-twenties, they included maps highlighting where to obtain fuel and of course, where to find a good restaurant.
The guides gained a reputation, and eventually, the brothers recruited a team of mystery diners who would anonymously visit restaurants and then award a Michelin Star – or not. These days, the guide rates more than 40,000 establishments in more than 24 territories across three continents.
The arrival of Michelin in Vancouver marks a shift in the city’s worldwide reputation and is, of course, wholly welcomed by those it most impacts. Receiving even one Michelin Star can make a restaurant’s or a chef’s reputation. The Michelin Star system awards one, two, or three Stars to cuisines that meet their exacting standards.
The Guide is also known for its Bib Gourmand selection, which highlights those restaurants offering amazing food at affordable prices. It’s also expected that Vancouver may scoop several Michelin Green Stars specifically for restaurants that lead the way in sustainable gastronomy.
What the Michelin Guide Means for Vancouver
Katelyn Berry and her incredible team at Michelin are the driving force behind the Michelin Guide expansion in North America. They are reaching new audiences which include people who are interested in travel, interested in high-quality experiences, and they’re always looking for new destinations to explore.
The arrival of the Michelin Guide in Vancouver heralds a new beginning in the city’s global reputation.
It’s not just restaurants that will benefit from the presence of Michelin in Vancouver, but every café, bar, nightclub, tourist destination, and store can now enjoy increased foot traffic and the financial rewards which additional new travelers bring.
Stay tuned for the Michelin Guide’s Vancouver star ratings to be revealed this fall!