Dubai: The UAE will soon get its own Michelin Guide this year, where restaurants will be awarded one, two or three stars depending on “what’s on the plate”.
During the debut announcement at the Museum of the Future on Tuesday, March 28, Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the Michelin Guides announced, that the Michelin Guide Dubai will be launched in June 2022.
First time in Mena
After North America, South America, Asia Pacific, and Europe, explaining why the Michelin Guide was now coming to Dubai, Poullennec said: “Dubai has unique and different flavours. The emirate really deserves to be on the world culinary map because of the variety of food here. The food scene in Dubai is blossoming.”
“This is our first step in the Mena region,” he added.
According to Poullennec, Michelin inspectors have started visiting restaurants and monitoring across the emirate. The selection of Dubai restaurants awarded with Michelin stars will be announced in June, with no date yet set.
Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing Currently added: “There are closer to 11,000 restaurants in Dubai that the Michelin Guide team will have to make a selection from.”
So, how does a restaurant get a Michelin Star?
The guide has been annually published since 1900s. What started as a mission to encourage drivers to get behind the wheel, has now become prominent in promoting tourism.
Today, the Michelin Guide is in 36 culinary destinations.
Gwendal Poullennec explained that when Michelin inspectors visit a restaurant, it’s not the decor or physical aspects of a restaurant that they focus on.
“They rate a restaurant based on what’s on the plate and the quality of the food.”
This is the criteria that Michelin Inspectors rate a restaurant on:
1. Quality of products
2. Mastery of flavour and cooking techniques
3. The personality of the chef represented in the dining experience
4. Value for money
5. Consistency between inspectors’ visits
To keep ratings fair, according to Poullennec, the same inspector doesn’t visit the same restaurant twice.
Stars and Covers in a Michelin Guide
The Michelin Guide conveys its restaurant reviews through two to three-line short summaries and an extensive system of symbols, the most revered of which are its globally renowned Michelin Stars. Restaurants may receive zero to 3 stars for the quality of their food based on five criteria: quality of the ingredients used, mastery of flavor and cooking techniques, the personality of the chef in his cuisine, value for money and consistency between visits.
Not quite a star, but most definitely not a consolation prize, the Bib Gourmand - named after Bibendum, the friendly Michelin Man, and the official company mascot for the Michelin Group - is a just-as-esteemed rating that recognizes friendly establishments that serve good food at moderate prices.
As inspectors travel and taste their way through fine dining establishments, they are also on the constant lookout for restaurants that offer high-quality food at pocket-friendly prices. These accumulated observations resulted in the creation of a separate rating category to recognize such restaurants.
How does a restaurant lose a star?
If you have watched Pixar’s Ratatouille, chances are you will remember the character of Gusteau—the chef who dies of sadness after losing a Michelin star. The character was based on a real-life person, a man named Bernard Loiseau. So, is it possible for a restaurant to lose a star?
Poullennec explained: “All the stars are awarded to restaurants on a yearly basis. You must earn a star, ever year consistently. Which means if a restaurant was awarded two stars this year, it can go to one or zero stars, depending on the consistency of their food.”