In the last two centuries, culinary skills have joined painting, music and sculpture as a respected form of fine art. As the products of these skilled artists are enjoyed in a restaurant setting, the hospitality business has risen in step with the culinary arts, and the two have become collectively regarded as a realm of romance, drama and intense artistic and commercial competition.
Top chef reviews showcase world-class artists practicing their craft at the highest level, and no chef can create brilliant and commercially successful cuisine without the stage of a proper restaurant and kitchen. Together, a skillful restaurant owner and a talented chef can garner restaurant reviews and restaurant food ratings that can lead them to local, national or even international success.
The Influence of a Restaurant Grading System
Behind the simple act of dining out at a fine restaurant lies a dizzying level of risk and reward for the culinary artists involved. One principal cause of this pressure is the restaurant grading system.
In the early days of the 20th century, cars were appearing on the road for the first time. Though they were rapidly becoming available to the middle class, cars still represented a symbol of wealth and social status. To promote automobile travel, guides were created that showcased restaurants as travel destinations. Before long, these restaurant reviews gained a powerful influence over where people dined. A single review had enough force to launch or destroy a chef’s culinary career.
Today, restaurant reviews from renowned restaurant grading systems like Michelin, Gayot® and Gault Millau still carry enough influence to lure international clientele. Top chef reviews and restaurant food ratings have made otherwise unknown restaurants into million-dollar ventures and have even launched TV careers and specialty food product lines.
Nevertheless, the restaurant business is notoriously risky, and investments of money and talent are not always guaranteed to produce high returns. Chefs and restaurant owners have often watched their entire lives change with the addition or removal of a single star or point on a popular restaurant grading system.
Bear this in mind as you choose a restaurant for the evening: Professional restaurant reviews are offered with gravity, expertise and an understanding of their ability to make or break fortunes.