Now, the stars are awarded in levels. One means it’s a “very good restaurant.” Two mean the eatery’s “worth a detour” due to “excellent cooking,” and three, the most coveted of all, denote restaurants that are worth a trip in and of themselves, according to Food Network.
The most obvious answer to why the stars are taken away is the correct one: when the standards of a restaurant do not hold up. Twisted notes that Michelin star restaurants in each region are reevaluated year after year, so in order to keep stars indefinitely, a restaurant must remain consistently award-worthy and innovative.
And losing a star is as crushing as gaining a star is rewarding. Michelin is aware of the impacts — both emotionally and economically — of retracting a star, says Twisted, and never take the decision lightly. The fear of losing a star and the pressure of having one are concerning to some chefs, with one even calling it “a curse,” according to Truly.
But even with the all-eyes-on-you nature of receiving a star and the possibility of losing it, chefs are honored to receive the award. Chef George Mendes of Aldea’s in NYC (which is now closed, according to Eater) told Truly their star was “an accolade [that they] cherish” and described the guide as “one of the closest, most meaningful and validated” ways to gauge success.