Holy Mickey Pretzel and Jumbo Turkey Legs! Even Walt Disney himself probably didn’t see this one coming. Michelin-starred dining is coming to Orlando.
And Miami. And Tampa.
Michelin and Visit Florida have jointly announced that the latest expansion of The Michelin Guide, the bible of gourmands everywhere, is coming to the Sunshine State. The vaunted guidebooks, published since the early 1900s when French industrialist Andre Michelin and his brother Edouard wanted to stimulate road tripping—and thus the tires they manufactured—have driven chefs to both agony and ecstasy. And ever since, foodies have indeed traveled great distances in planes, trains and automobiles to sample the creations designated by Michelin as the best.
Currently, countrywide guides are published in Europe in nine editions. Regional guides span European cities, the United States, Brazil and several Asian destinations. In the U.S., the culinary havens of New York City, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and San Francisco are reviewed.
Las Vegas, which strives to go bigger than anywhere else—and is in continual competition with Orlando for meetings and events business—used to have its restaurants rated by Michelin. And with so many celebrity-chef outposts, deservedly so. Yet apparently that guide sold so poorly it was discontinued. The last guide covered 2008-2009.
Now Orlando appears to have an edge, at least on the Michelin Man front.
“Having the Michelin Guide inspectors visit Orlando to experience and rate our restaurant offerings will raise the visibility of our destination’s culinary superstars on a global scale,” said Casandra Matej, president and CEO of Visit Orlando in a press release heralding the news.
The inaugural edition of the Florida Michelin Guide will appear in 2022. And every year thereafter.