1 Aug: The First Michelin Guide

Andre and Edouard Michelin published their first Guide on 1st August, 1900. Now recognised as  the gold standard in luxury restaurant reviews, the original guide was primarily created to encourage demand for automobiles – and, therefore, Michelin tyres. At the time, there were fewer than 3,000 cars on French roads.

Nearly 35,000 copies of this first, free edition of the guide were distributed, providing information to motorists including maps, tyre repair and replacement instructions, car mechanics listings, hotels, and petrol stations throughout France.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain why the Michelin mascot, Bibendum, is white; reveal the levels of secrecy expected of Michelin’s restaurant inspectors; and consider why Japan ranks second to France in its star ratings… 

Further Reading:

• ‘The ingenious story behind Michelin stars’ (BBC Travel, 2018): https://www.bbc.com/travel/article/20181024-the-ingenious-story-behind-michelin-stars

• ‘What’s wrong with the Michelin guide?’ (Financial Times, 2021): https://www.ft.com/content/e622ec53-ea9f-487a-a434-747f13f5ffa0

•’How the Michelin Guide rates restaurants’ (CBS Sunday Morning, 2023):

#France #Food #1900s #Books