It began with a few conversations, almost hushed, amongst industry types.
“Michelin inspectors have been spotted in L.A.”
I first heard it from a local chef. Then again from a fellow food writer. Before long the rumors were everywhere.
It made no sense: The Michelin Guide had been in L.A. from 2006 to 2008, before closing as a “result” of the recession. Yet now they’re back? What’s changed? Well, for one thing, it’s not just L.A., but all of California because the state’s Tourism Board is paying $600,000 “to underwrite the hard costs” of expanding Michelin’s coverage to the entire state.
But one thing almost all of those hushed conversations had in common: excitement. Then came other questions: Why do Michelin stars matter and who’ll inevitably get those stars?