#ENGKNOWLEDGE: MICHELIN STAR

Hi, hello, everyone, how are you today?

Thanks to a new commercial of a certain online marketplace, I discovered a new song that immediately got me hooked, God’s Menu by Stray Kids, which includes the line, “Cookin’ like a chef, I’m a 5-star Michelin…”

Stray Kids’ Felix on God’s Menu music video. Courtesy: JYP Entertainment’s YouTube channel.

The song is such an earworm; I can’t get it out of my head. Now, whether KPop is your cup of tea or not, most of us at least have read or heard about Michelin, a French multinational tyre manufacturer. So, what does a tyre manufacturer have to do with cooking and chefs?

In my opinion, the song is trying to say that Stray Kids is a KPop group that creates music that is one of its kind, just like cooking a special cuisine. The line is a reference to Michelin Guide and its stars, and this is our topic for today.

In 1900, brothers Édouard and André Michelin, who were the founders of car tyre manufacturer Michelin, published a book called Michelin Guide, which was basically a travelling guide for car owners to essential services and points of interest all across France, to respond to the increasing demand of cars.

The book quickly became popular amongst travellers, with several editions for other nations soon followed the French one. The first ever English version was published in 1909.

The publication of the Michelin Guide was temporarily suspended during the first World War. After seeing how the Guide was used as a prop up for a workbench, Michelin decided to charge for it (the Guide had initially been distributed for free).

Over the years, Michelin noticed the increasing popularity of the restaurant section, which then prompted the company to recruit a team of inspectors to visit and review the restaurants anonymously. The restaurant owners were not aware of the inspectors, nor were they aware of being inspected.

The restaurants that managed to impress the inspectors are then awarded with ‘Michelin star’:
– One star means a very good restaurant in its category
– Two stars mean excellent cooking, worth a detour
– Three stars mean exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey

The 3-star restaurants are on the highest tier. This group consists of restaurants that are worth a special trip by themselves, or in other words, we visit the area just to go to the restaurants. It is considered a great honour to be featured and awarded a star, even though there are some controversies as well. There are several editions of the Guide published in Europe, Asia, and America, and there are even editions for major cities in the continents.

As the Guide is published regularly, the restaurant list is also regularly updated. In France, there is always such an anticipation before the latest edition of Michelin Guide is published, one that is said to rival Academy Awards.

Basically, there hasn’t been a 5-star Michelin restaurant yet, but I still think it’s a nice song.

I hope you enjoy this brief article. Stay safe and healthy!

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 7 December 2020.

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