The 2011 Michelin Guide Chicago was released Tuesday November 16th, one day early due to an overzealous foodie who leaked the results on Yelp for the world to see. And although its release didn’t go exactly as planned, the chefs still received a personal call from Jean-Luc Naret, the charming French director of the guide, to confirm their stars. However, I can’t help but think that just like the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, everything is a little more exciting with a little bit of scandal.
On Wednesday November 17th, on what had been the expected release of the guide, we found ourselves anxiously awaiting our cab to the Chicago Cultural Center to celebrate the first edition of the Michelin Guide Chicago and the recently starred chefs. As time ticked on, and still no cab… we quickly hopped in my car and sped off arriving just before the mayor. As he spoke with the higher ups of Michelin, we casually made our way around the dimly lit hall with beautiful Tiffany’s stained glass domed ceilings stopping to congratulate Shin Thompson of Bonsoirée, Michael Carlson of Schwa, and Grant Achatz of Alinea.
During one of the several speeches that evening, Mayor Daley made a point of thanking Michelin for their commitment to Chicago and truly recognizing it as global city. Despite the critics upset about who they think should have gotten a star or which chef shouldn’t be compared to another, it is important to recognize the diversity of Chicago’s culinary options and the significance, as a city, of being recognized by the Michelin Guide.
Expect more to follow including our interview with the head of The Michelin Guide, Jean-Luc Naret. You will find the list of restaurants with stars below. We’ve been to about half of the Michelin Star restaurants thus far, and are looking forward to exploring the others!