The Michelin Guide is renowned for its coveted stars, which are awarded to only the finest restaurants in the world.
However, what many people may not know is that the guide also has a Bib Gourmand rating system that recognizes exceptional restaurants that provide quality food at an affordable price.
So, what exactly is the Bib Gourmand rating system, and how does it work?
What is the Bib Gourmand?
The Bib Gourmand rating was first introduced in 1997 as a way to recognize restaurants that serve high-quality cuisine at a reasonable price. The term “Bib” is a reference to the Bibendum, the Michelin Man, who has been the Michelin brand’s mascot since 1898.
To receive a Bib Gourmand rating, a restaurant must meet specific criteria. The restaurant must offer excellent food that is of a consistently high standard while offering a wide range of dishes that showcase the restaurant’s expertise and creativity.
Most importantly, a Bib Gourmand restaurant must also be affordable. In France, this means that the price at least one menu at lunch or dinner must be 40 euros or less while the threshold for other countries may vary depending on the local economy.
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How does the Michelin Guide award the Bib Gourmand?
The Michelin inspectors are known for their meticulous attention to detail, and this is no different when it comes to awarding Bib Gourmand ratings. Inspectors visit restaurants anonymously and evaluate them based on five criteria: quality of the ingredients, mastery of flavor and cooking techniques, the personality of the cuisine, value for money, and consistency over time and across the menu.
Restaurants that receive a Bib Gourmand rating are considered to be excellent establishments that offer a great dining experience at an affordable price. However, it’s worth noting that the rating does not take into account factors such as service or atmosphere, which are factors that are considered when awarding Michelin stars.
So, what does it mean for a restaurant to receive a Bib Gourmand rating? In short, it’s a mark of culinary excellence that recognizes a restaurant’s ability to offer high-quality food at a reasonable price. For diners, it’s a valuable guide to finding great restaurants that won’t break the bank.