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Washington, D.C.’s thriving hospitality industry, which includes big name chefs like José Andrés and Aaron Silverman, will finally get its own Michelin Guide, the globally recognized kingmaker of fine dining restaurants.
In anticipation of the first D.C. guide, scheduled for publication in October, Michelin has already dispatched anonymous critics to restaurants around the city in search of one-, two-, and three-star dining experiences, as well as Bib Gourmands, a collection of more affordable establishments that are recommended, but do not receive a star. Restaurants that are under star consideration are visited a number of times by several inspectors, all of whom are trained in France and most of whom are chefs themselves.
D.C. will join just three other American cities with Michelin-acknowledged dining standards: New York City, San Francisco, and Chicago.
“D.C. was a logical choice,” said Michael Ellis, director for the Michelin Guides. “It’s a very cosmopolitan city. It has a growing and thriving food scene.” Previously, Los Angeles and Las Vegas each had Michelin Guides, but were both discontinued for economic reasons.
For its first edition, the D.C. guide will only include restaurants within the District, with restaurants in the suburbs and rural communities to follow. For most of the city’s chefs, the news is welcome, and means that their work will receive the same national and global attention that their peers have gotten.
“A lot of people have been working hard for five to 10 years, and whether or not they intended to change the scene, they have,” Aaron Silverman, a James Beard Award-winning local chef told the Washington Post. “It’s the beginning of big things for Washington, D.C.”