Michelin Star Dubai: How inspectors rate restaurants

The team spends all their lunch and dinner times eating out to find the best restaurants

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Supplied photo
Supplied photo

Ashwani Kumar

Published: Tue 21 Jun 2022, 4:50 PM

Last updated: Tue 21 Jun 2022, 5:16 PM

The inaugural Michelin Guide Dubai has awarded the prestigious stars to 11 UAE restaurants. It is the first time the prestigious gastronomic guide has come to the Middle East. The restaurants were selected and rated by anonymous Michelin Guide inspectors.

Have you ever wondered who are the ones who rate the restaurants and what is must be like to eat for a living?

One of the main pillars of the Michelin star process is the work of these inspectors. The team, who are full time employees, consist of both men and women of 15 different nationalities. “They are passionate professionals who share a love for great cooking,” said Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the Michelin Guide.

“And they spend all their lunch and dinner times eating out to find the best restaurants."

They visit every restaurant like a regular guest and pay their bills in full. They never come back to the same restaurant twice. All decisions at the Michelin guide are team decisions to ultimately ensure that all Michelin recommendations have the same value everywhere in the world.

At the inaugural star revelation ceremony in Dubai, a video showcased three inspectors, who discussed how they went about doing their jobs.

One of them revealed how demanding the job is. He is on the go from 8:30am to11pm. Every year, he travels more than 3,000 kilometres and sleeps in 160 hotels. He eats 250 meals at 600 places and writes 11,000 reports. However, he makes sure no one recognizes him as an inspector and if ever asked about what he does for a living, he tells them about his passion of making music and playing the guitar.

A second inspector explained how being an inspector requires her to adapt to any kind of situation and try anything and everything. For her, eyesight and smell add to the taste and it was important to pay attention to every tiny detail. The job has equipped her with a sixth sense that allowed her to embrace everything around her. For her, everything adds flavour to things, like a bouquet.

A third inspector, speaking in French, shared about growing up with her grandfather who had a restaurant. Dreaming of becoming a vulcanologist, she knew she didn’t want to do her grandfather’s job. He taught her how to cook and told her how much he enjoyed watching people enjoy his food. He also told her how cooked his food sitting because his customers received his food while sitting. His enthusiasm and the happiness in the waiters’ eyes on serving good food made her forget about volcanoes and become an inspector.


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