California and Michelin: A Perfect Pairing

By / Food / June 13th, 2020 / 14
California and Michelin

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride. And so, seemingly, described the ongoing courtship between the state of California and The MICHELIN Guide. While the prestigious international culinary guide had, in the past, covered the San Francisco Bay Area and Wine Country, it essentially left the rest of the state waiting by the alter. That changed in March of 2019, when MICHELIN finally stopped playing hard-to-get and got cozy with greater Los Angeles, Monterey, Orange County, Sacramento, San Diego and Santa Barbara.

The first edition of The MICHELIN Guide 2019 covers California from Wine Country to San Diego, and most points in between. In all, over 660 restaurants are reviewed within a series of categories including three stars (Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey), two stars (Excellent cuisine, worth a detour), one star (High quality cooking, worth a stop) as well as the Inspector’s favourites for good value, and fresh ingredients, capably prepared: a good meal.

Visit California (the non-profit organization that – in partnership with the state’s travel industry – develops and maintains marketing programs to promote California as a travel destination) President & CEO Caroline Beteta had this to say about the MICHELIN recognition:

“California and Michelin are a perfect pairing, joining forces to show the world the innovation and breadth of the Golden State’s culinary landscape. The diversity and abundance of dining opportunities here, including an unparalleled array of ethnic dining, women chefs and limitless agricultural bounty, sets California apart from any other destination in the world.”

I was lucky enough to get a first-hand look (and taste) of some of the Michelin-selected dining establishments on a whirlwind culinary tour of southern California in November of last year. Not only did I experience some glorious dining, but also some of the state’s more prominent architectural and geographic monuments. I also rubbed elbows with a rather famous Hollywood celeb (who has a pretty strong Canadian connection).

Stay tuned for more of this story in the coming months.


Tod Stewart is the contributing editor at Quench. He's an award-winning Toronto-based wine/spirits/food/travel/lifestyle writer with over 35 years industry experience. He has contributed to newspapers, periodicals, and trade publications and has acted as a consultant to the hospitality industry. No matter what the subject matter, he aims to write an entertaining read. His book, 'Where The Spirits Moved Me' is now available on Amazon and Apple.

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