In the early 1930s came the ratings via a star hierarchy that developed into the highly competitive formula for which the guide is perhaps best known today.
Local reaction to the first Michelin Beijing guide in 2019 was almost entirely negative even accusing it of “cultural superiority” partly because none of the top three awardees serve traditional northern food.
“The French Will Not Understand” —— A Brief History of Michelin Guide in China
It is the third year of the world-renown food guide landing in Guangzhou the fifth year in China and the thirteenth year in Asia since its first Tokyo version in 2007.
In 2018 Michelin announced Guangzhou stars for the first time. 63 restaurants were listed none of which got two or three stars. Four out of the eight restaurants which got one star are in luxury hotels and expensive.
Why Michelin appears to be so ignorant of the Chinese cuisines？ Some are inclined to blame the cultural differences for it. After all most Chinese users still trust Michelin for recommendations when travelling in Europe and other Western countries.
At first distributed for free it included maps a how-to on changing tyres and lists of mechanics and hotels along the route. The first run of 35000 copies was such a success that guides for Belgium Germany Portugal and Spain followed. Michelin introduced restaurant listings in 1920. Soon after it started sending out undercover inspectors.