After years of planning visits to Michelin-starred restaurants in other destinations around the world, Miamiians will finally have their own Michelin Guide.
In a press release issued on Monday, Gwendal Poulennec, international director of the Michelin Guides, said: “Michelin Guide inspectors are eager to experience the world-class culinary landscape in Miami, Orlando and Tampa.”
Visit Florida, along with the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, Visit Orlando and Visit Tampa Bay, partner with the Michelin Guide to publish its first edition of the Miami, Orlando and Tampa Michelin Guide in the spring of 2022.
The exact terms of the partnership between Visit Florida, the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, Visit Orlando and Visit Tampa Bay and the Michelin Guide were not disclosed, including whether Michelin has received monetary compensation. New Times has a call in the Michelin and will update the story with additional information.
According to the statement, Michelin Guide inspectors will begin dining at Florida restaurants in the target cities.
The Florida trio joins five other US cities / regions with Michelin Guides: New York, Chicago, Washington, DC, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Rolando Aedo, COO of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau (GMCVB), said New times that his organization has been working to get Miami’s Michelin Guide for years now – and he’s picking one chef in particular for starting the conversation.
âI want to pay tribute to Brad Kilgore,â Aedo said of the Miami-based chef and restaurateur. âIt’s been several years now, but we were traveling together and he said, ‘We’ve got to have Michelin in Miami.’ Brad and a bunch of other Miami chefs really started the preliminary discussions. ”
Aedo says talks with Michelin were revived when their counterparts in Tampa, Orlando and Visit Florida teamed up to make it happen.
“These cities have all been recognized as great places to eat and we are all partners in [the statewide umbrella organization] Visit Florida. We all agreed that this was the optimal time, as the hospitality industry is experiencing a recovery in tourism. ”
Aedo emphasizes that despite the partnership agreement, Michelin will make all decisions about which restaurants to include in its guide. He provided Michelin with a list of hundreds of restaurants that participated in GMCVB programs – but his involvement ended there.
âMichelin is renowned for its unbiased approach to how it makes its guides,â he says. “This is what drives us about the partnership.”
According to its website, Michelin can award zero to three stars for the quality of a restaurant’s cuisine on the basis of five criteria: quality of the ingredients used, mastery of flavors and cooking techniques, personality of the chef in his kitchen , value for money, and consistency between visits. (Decor and service are not part of the equation.)
But a restaurant can also be awarded the name “Bib Gourmand”, named after Bibendum, the current name of the Michelin man of tire fame. The designation recognizes “friendly establishments that serve good food at moderate prices”.
The restaurants are also recognized for their sustainability, a remarkable cocktail or wine list, an interesting view or good street food. Separated from the star system, fork and knife ratings rank establishments based on their service and comfort.
Several Miami restaurants come to mind as potential Michelin Star recipients, including Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink. Chef Michael Schwartz, who is working on renovating his eponymous Design District restaurant, recounts New times that the arrival of the Michelin Guide will be great for all of Miami.
“As chefs, we always aim for the stars. It’s good that they’re finally within reach.”
Schwartz then gave a little advice to chefs and restaurateurs who might be doing too much with the news. âPlease don’t take this too seriously. Don’t let the tail wag the dog. ”