The 2018 Michelin Guide has given Germany its highest number of stars ever, marking a new era for the country's culinary scene.
The restaurants of Germany gained their 300th cumulative Michelin star today, as the Michelin Guide unveiled its 2018 rankings for the country. That's a gain of eight since last year, which includes 29 restaurants making the guide for the first time, as well as Germany's 11th three-star restaurant, Atelier (located in the Beyerischer Hotel in Munich), and a trend that seems likely to continue through the future.
"Alongside the established chefs," says international Michelin Guide director Michael Ellis, "A highly motivated generation of young chefs has made German gastronomy among the best in the world." Key to that quality, which brought Germany its most stars yet, is how those chefs offer "a wide choice of styles of cuisine and gastronomic concepts," which, he says, is "a real advantage for gourmets!"
Exemplifying the food diversity, restaurants honored include two exclusively vegetarian establishments, Seven Swans in Frankfurt/Main, and Cookies Cream in Berlin, as well as the Dusseldorf Japanese restaurant Yoshi by Nagaya, and Italian restaurant Ai Pero in the Middle Rhine Valley's city of Andernach. But while the latest guide keeps Germany towards the top of the most Michelin-starred countries list, it still has less than half as many as perennial guide-topper France, who, as of the most recent guide, has 616. Also of interest: according to the Michelin Guide, Germany's population of around 83 million has produced almost twice as much star-worthy food than the USA's 323 million people, a judgment whose veracity you can assess for yourself.
Given another recent trend, though, all of these numbers could be taking on a changing significance. This year, several acclaimed chefs announced they would be "returning" their Michelin Stars, with longtime three star-holder Sébastien Bras explaining that he no longer wanted to deal with the pressure of the accompanying scrutiny. While Michelin Guide acclaim can, according to Michelin's most decorated chef Joël Robuchon, potentially double a restaurant's business, it can also cause them to burn out after the first star, should they spend too much time and money trying to preserve the rating. Hopefully, then, Germany's 29 newly-added restaurants will learn from chefs like Bras and try take it easy from the start.