Who gets to claim they are a Michelin starred chef?

Who gets to claim they are a Michelin-starred chef/cook?

I was watching videos of a restaurant owner who said she is a Michelin starred chef/cook, referencing prior employment at a 1-starred establishment. She did not specify at what level her prior employment was, but she looked to be less than 30 years old, which I realize doesn’t confer additional useful information.

The stars go to the restaurant, not the chefs/cooks, but I’ve noticed the chefs/cooks understandably want to carry with them that name brand. Under what circumstances do they get to carry the recognition and for how long?

What if someone was a sous chef at a restaurant that was already starred when they joined the team?

What if the person was there for a summer internship? What if they were fired? What if the restaurant loses its stars?

It just seems really unregulated with regard to who gets to make these claims and for the rest of their career even if they were prepping vegetables all day. I am not in the profession so my knowledge on the subject is superficial.

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The short answer is that it’s for as long as they can get away with it. Michelin generally wouldnt care - it’s extra publicity for their brand

Obviously the chef at a starred restaurant is pretty much entitled to regard themselves as starred chef. And they are entitled to keep that on their CV as and when they might move on to another restaurant. I can think of one chef not too far from me where he has held stars at three restaurants. I can also think of another who held a star at one place as chef but now has his own unstarred restaurant, where mention is made of his past.

These accolades do not apply other members of the kitchen brigade. They can honestly claim to have Michelin experience from working at a starred place but they are not Michelin starred chefs. As with any CV, the author will be creative about their past experience and may not elaborate on the exact nature of the starred experience. As you suggest, it may have been brief and not successful. Or a short term stage.

Restaurants are also likely to retain mention of their past awards, inclduing stars. It has always stuck me as not entirely great marketing to say you held a star ten years back but it is an accurate reflection. By the by, I remember visiting a restaurant in Scotland some years ago. It had held a star in the past but that had been some years previous. I noted, however, that its website still claimed a star as though it was still current. Let us be charitable and suggest that they just forgot to update the website (although I got no reply from my email to them). So, I grassed them up to Michelin and within a couple of weeks the reference had gone.


My bestie says he cooked in a starred kitchen. He wasnt the EC so they weren’t his stars…and tells me that this is the usual and accepted way to make such a claim on a CV.

If you didn’t create the menu and the food theyre not your stars.


That makes a lot of sense thank you.

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That’s very helpful thank you.

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Imho people are too hung up with Michelin labels. There are dozens, thousands, millions of extremely competent cooks all over the world who are not being rated by Michelin.

Likewise, I often do not enjoy eating out in Michelin starred restaurants - I often have the feeling foods are being adjusted to a less refined palette of wealthy but ultimately not that knowledgeable clientele. Sweet with a soft texture, bordering baby food sometimes… :slight_smile: Remember that especially Michelin starred restaurants are usually economic entities first, and culinary shrines second…

Imho one should just judge a person on his/her skills and opinions. There is of course in the cookware section a former professional chef who used to work in 3 star Michelin restaurants in Europe, and what he says here 9 times out of 10 makes a lot of sense.

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Oops! well I’ve probably peeved that person off already without knowing who they are, but that’s the nature of these online venues. You don’t know who you’re communicating with and are forced to judge others based on their opinions and the manner in which they are expressed.

I’m certainly hung up over the vagaries of the Michelin awards. At least, when I can be arsed to be hung up. I’m more hung up over the fact that, in my nice middle class suburban village in northwest England we now have a food bank.

But it’s those vagaries of the Michelin awards system that continue to puzzle me every year when the stars are announced. Even in my own region, why has X been awarded a star, when Y and Z have not, even though they clearly cook at the same or highee level.


And alarmingly close to where I live, thousands of cooks and chefs aren’t working at all because their kitchens are now just a pile of rubble in the sand after Ian, and just need a way to feed their families.


I was told a while ago that the stars go to the chef, and I know it is quite common for the chef to claim the stars.