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100 Stories: “Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate”

A Guide to the Michelin Guide. Chef’s Table is Bangkok’s first restaurant to be helmed by a three Michelin star chef. Chef Vincent Thierry to be exact. But in case you don’t know what all the fuss is about: read on!

First appearing in 1900, the tire company’s annual red-covered Michelin guide to hotels and restaurants, was an olden day version of a travel blog for motorists in France.

From 1952 the guide spread its gastronomic wings from Spain to Great Britain & Ireland in 1974. Michelin is now a veritable foodie bible, covering Europe, America, South America, Japan, China and Thailand.

But what do the ratings mean? The precise way to gain a star is a closely guarded secret but the Michelin guide’s own sketchy definitions are:
One star: “High quality cooking, worth a stop! (Top quality ingredients and distinct flavours)
Two stars “Excellent cooking, worth a detour!” (Personality and talent of the chef)
And three stars: “Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey!” (When the cooking is elevated to an art form)
The vague language and exclamation marks are part of the guide’s mystique.
These days, other categories include ‘Bib Gourmand’ (introduced in 1997), which means “Good cooking at moderate prices”.
The stars are proffered annually by Michelin, based on anonymous visits. Michelin takes no advertising, hidden fees or backhanders, so it has remained a highly coveted award.

Chef Vincent says: “I had the experience of winning three Michelin Stars. I see the guide as a highly respectful judge. It's definitely very important. But for me today, I'm not going to let it be my focus. We are going to cook first as we desire, with passion and to the high level we want to achieve. We are going to cook for the joy of all our customers.”