Jun 14, 2023 - News

Colorado lands coveted Michelin Guide

Chef Jose Avila serves a plate of tradition Mexican insects with a modern twist at La Diabla on March 13, 2023, in Denver. Photo: AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Colorado's restaurant scene is about to get a little more star-studded.

Driving the news: France-based Michelin and the Colorado Tourism Office announced Wednesday the state will become just the eighth location in North America to earn its own Michelin Guide.

  • The guide will provide restaurant recommendations in Colorado, with a focus on metro Denver and several mountain towns.

Why it matters: The guide cements Colorado's culinary scene as a top national β€” and now, international β€” dining destination.

State of play: The company is perhaps best known for issuing its coveted Michelin Stars, which range from one to three. Restaurants who receive them are often lauded as the best in the world.

  • Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the Michelin Guides, in a statement called the state's "dynamic culinary scene" perfect for its guide.

BFD: Local restaurant consultant John Imbergamo summed up its potential effect: "If a restaurant in Colorado gets a star or two or three, that will have a dramatic impact on its business."

  • Colorado Restaurant Association president and CEO Sonia Riggs tells us along with James Beard nominations recently received by local chefs, the guide adds to the out-of-state recognition local spots are enjoying.

What they're saying: "Going through the Michelin process will confirm to the world that we really have a great dining scene in Colorado," Riggs tells us

Zoom in: The first guide will be released later this year and will cover Aspen, Beaver Creek, Denver, Boulder, Snowmass Village and Vail.

Of note: Michelin inspectors are already in the field making reservations anonymously and paying for meals β€” a step they take to ensure they're treated like a regular customer, according to a statement.

  • The rating is based on five criteria: Product quality, harmony of flavors, mastery of cooking techniques, how the chef's personality is reflected in the dish and consistency between each visit.

By the numbers: Colorado is home to more than 12,7000 eating and drinking establishments, which makes the state fifth in the nation for restaurants per capita, according to Riggs.

Zoom out: The guides are currently available for California; Chicago; Miami/Orlando/Tampa; New York; Toronto; Vancouver; and Washington, D.C.


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