Getting a Michelin star is the dream of every restaurant and when they are awarded this prestigious accolade for being the best in the industry then it adds to their credibility.
Wondering how a restaurant gets the Michelin star?
Well, anonymous diners visit the eating joints to assess on various parameters – food quality, consistency between other visitors, expertise of chefs, hospitality, and ambience.
What do these stars represent?
One star represents “a very good restaurant in its category”, two stars denote “excellent cooking, worth a detour” and three stars mean “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.” Let’s simplify it – the star is awarded to restaurants and not chefs in particular – One chef can work for two Michelin-starred restaurants.
Let’s take a look at some of the world-famous Michelin star chefs:
Born and raised in Amritsar, Punjab, Chef Vikas Khanna decided to leave his hometown to follow his dreams. Almost 20 years later, he is one of the most renowned chefs in the world. In 2001, he had to shut his restaurant after the terrorist attack, however, three years later he was recognised for his culinary skills at a non-profit called James Beard House who believed in nurturing chefs.
The chef launched Spice Route in 2006 and there has been no looking back ever since then. He was invited by Michelin-starred chef Gordon Ramsay on his show Kitchen Nightmares.
In 2010, Vikas Khanna opened his Indian restaurant Junoon in Flatiron district of Manhattan, New York. The restaurant was awarded its first Michelin star, which he continued to win for the next six years.
A well known name in the culinary world, Chef Atul Kochhar is the first Indian to be awarded the Michelin star for his London restaurant Tamarind in 2001. He also opened another restaurant called Benares in the city’s upscale Mayfair district, which got him his second Michelin star.
On his website, Chef Atul Kochhar has written, “Our restaurants celebrate the life and culture of India and its bounty of beautiful flavours, aromas and spices through menus of magnificent dishes.” In India, the chef launched Saga, with Delhi restaurateur Vishal Anand in Gurugram.
He needs no introduction – Chef Vineet Bhatia has been quite pivotal in revolutionizing Indian cuisine on the global front. He has worked as the executive chef at Mewar and Kandahar restaurants of the Oberoi group of hotels in Delhi and Mumbai. After gaining the experience, Vineet Bhatia decided to move to the UK to experiment with various culinary styles and Indian food. In 1999, he opened Zaika in Chelsea but soon moved it to Kensington High Street. In 2009, Rasoi by Vineet at the Mandarin Oriental in Geneva, Switzerland, was awarded a Michelin star. However, it was closed in 2016 only to be relaunched as Vineet Bhatia London (VBL).
In 2017, this Mumbai-born chef changed the game for women chefs after she opened Gaa, a three-storied restaurant in Bangkok’s Phatumwan. She loves to experiment with contemporary Indian cuisine fused with global flavours. What’s unique about her is the fact that she locally acquires her ingredients and uses age-old traditional Indian cooking techniques to make some of the best dishes.
In 2008, she became the first Indian woman to be awarded the prestigious Michelin star for Gaa. The following year, she also bagged the title of Asia’s Best Female Chef 2019 by World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
Sriram Aylur won a Michelin star in 2008 and she has retained it for a record 14 years straight. Launched in 1999, Quilon, located at Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences, London, offers coastal Indian food a global twist.
“We aim to convey our passion for South-West coastal Indian cuisine, through a quest for perfect ingredients and technique, plus a deep-seated desire to continue learning how to evolve and blend old traditions and modern tastes,” reads the Quilon website.