California tourism bureau will help underwrite new Michelin guide

A new statewide Michelin Guide for California won’t come without a hefty price tag.

And $600,000 of that cost will be borne by Visit California, the state’s tourism bureau, whose destination members stand to benefit from more Michelin-starred restaurants.

According to Family Meal, a twice-weekly restaurant industry newsletter, Visit California is investing $600,000 to help defray the costs of hiring and sending out more restaurant inspectors. The newsletter received the figure from Visit California CEO Caroline Beteta through an email interview.

Until the recent announcement, Michelin was publishing just one guide in California, the “San Francisco Bay Area & Wine Country” one. But starting this summer, Michelin — considered the Academy Awards of fine dining — will issue its coveted stars in Los Angeles, which had been without a guide for several years, along with Monterey, Sacramento, Orange County, Santa Barbara and San Diego.

“California’s tourism industry benefits from the global badge of credibility that comes with the Michelin Guide,” Beteta told Family Meal. “Visit California research shows that ‘foodies’ are among the highest-spending travelers. Having a statewide Michelin Guide means more of these valuable travelers will be inspired to visit California.”

Both Beteta and the head of Michelin Guides said tourism officials would have no influence over the inspectors, the restaurants reviewed or the stars awarded.

“Michelin will produce the guide independently, applying the same care and standards it always has,” Beteta was quoted as saying. “Visit California will help promote the guide when it is released in early June. It has had no say in the locations Michelin chooses to assess and will have no role in the creation of the guide.”

Jarad Gallagher, the executive chef of Chez TJ in Mountain View, which for years has held a Michelin star, praised the Michelin expansion/partnership and what it will mean to the state’s chefs and restaurant industry.

“I’m very excited for my fellow California chefs to have an opportunity to receive Michelin stars. We chefs all dream of cooking in places where this is possible.

“California has some amazing restaurants that are deserving of a Michelin rating and, regardless of the politics, this will open new territories for chefs to open restaurants and hopefully in time create a strong, even more vibrant culinary culture for all of California instead of two small areas. It’s a good thing,” he said Tuesday.

Gwendal Poullennec, the international director for Michelin, issued a statement in which he

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle

      

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