The Gourmet Edit – May
You've heard of Michelin Stars and Chef Hats, but what are they and where did they originate?
The Michelin brothers, Ándre and Édouard, started the Michelin Guide in 1900. Having started a tyre company 11 years earlier, there were only about 2200 cars in France, and the brothers wanted to encourage people to drive more, and would therefore need new tyres more often.
They initially gave out guides that cataloged hotels, mechanics and gasoline vendors throughout France, before expanding into fine dining in 1926. Five years later, the three-star system was introduced:
• One star A very good restaurant
• Two stars Excellent cooking that is worth a detour
• Three stars Exceptional cuisine that is worth special journey.
The Michelin Guide is now exclusively fine dining and has expanded to cover Europe, North America, South America and Asia Pacific.
The Australian Good Food and Travel Guide is Australia’s first national restaurant, accommodation and travel guide, and was released in 1979. Inspired by the Michelin and Gault Millau guides of Europe, it was originally named Guide Bonvoyage. In response to market research, the name was changed to the Australian Good Food & Accommodation Guide in 1984 and later again to the Australian Good Food & Travel Guide.
AGFG inspectors keep their identities confidential and give a score out of 20, rating establishments on the food alone, the six criteria being ingredients, taste, presentation, technique, value and consistency.
• One hat/score of 12-13 A good restaurant in its category
• Two hats/score of 14-15 Food quite out of the ordinary/worth a stop on the way
• Three hats/score of 16-17 Exceptional quality of cuisine/worth a detour
• Four hats/score of 18-19 Superlative food and wine: internationally acclaimed/worth a special journey