The mention of a Michelin Star conjures up thoughts of exquisite food and a rather sizeable bill, but it turns out its origins are far more humble than you may think. While deciding that it is high time for Mrs Stitch and I to check ‘eat at a Michelin Star restaurant’ off our bucket list we asked ourselves the question; why is it called a Michelin Star? After a few tongue in cheek comments about extra tyres added to our waistline, we decided to find out just how the Michelin Star system came about before setting out on our own Michelin experience.
The History of Michelin Stars
So what do car tyres and gourmet food have in common? The Michelin Star system began in 1900 as a free guide given to French motorists. The guide worked in conjunction with a regular road map and included information on where to fill up on fuel as well as where to stop for food. The star formula at that time was very simple. One star meant that if you happened to be passing by you ought to stop and have a bite. Two stars warranted a detour for a meal. And three stars was a recommendation that you should take a special drive to go and visit that particular restaurant. It’s hard to believe that a humble marketing tool from a tyre company has become one of the highest worldwide culinary accolades.
So what better way to pay homage to the history of the Michelin star than to plan our own Michelin road trip around Ireland? After donning my favourite Circle of Gentlemen suit I am ready to hit the road in style.
Stop One – Dublin
Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud
Our first pit stop is Dublin. We are not going to let the fact that this is famed as the most expensive restaurant in Dublin put us off experiencing the impeccable cuisine at Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud. This internationally acclaimed restaurant has featured in The New York Times and is the first and only in Dublin to receive two Michelin stars. As a once in a lifetime experience, we think this place definitely fits the bill. With a passion for supporting local farmers and fishermen, their unique twist on contemporary Irish cuisine is made with the finest seasonal produce. Their food is nothing less than perfection.
Stop Two – Galway
Our next stop is Galway on the far west coast of Ireland. The name Aniar, meaning ’from the west’ is a testament to where they source the majority of their distinctive produce. The entire menu is changed daily to add an extra element of excitement to the dining experience. So although we can’t do our usual quick Google search of the menu, we are happy to leave our appetites in the expert hands of the chefs at Aniar.
Stop Three – Belfast
To finish off our culinary road trip we have decided to make a reservation at Eipic in our hometown of Belfast. Eipic prides themselves on their food being expertly prepared and perfectly presented. With so many mouth watering dishes on the menu I can already tell that it will be a hard task to choose which to order. But I am rest assured by the fact that they have a passionate in-house sommelier who will ensure that we have the perfect glass (or three) of wine to pair with whichever meal we decide on.
Now, with a full tank and an empty stomach we are ready to set off on our Michelin Star road trip.
Bon Voyage and Bon Appetite!