What Does The Michelin Green Star Really Mean?

Those that closely follow the Michelin Guide might have noticed that a new symbol was added last year. While most everyone is very familiar with Michelin stars and the restaurants that receive them, there are other symbols worth following. The guide's symbols tend to be fairly straightforward, such as grapes for excellently curated wine lists or an umbrella for outdoor or terrace seating (via Food & Wine). However, there's now a new one to look out for that's worth paying attention to. 

The new green star or five-leaf green clover denotes a "green" or environmentally-minded restaurant. The Michelin Guide explained the new symbol represents restaurants that "promote the chefs who have taken responsibility by preserving resources and embracing biodiversity, reducing food waste and reducing the consumption of non-renewable energy." It's an exciting new development that more people should be looking out for, as climate change takes its toll on the planet and the industry.

Why they're going green now

After awarding the new star to restaurants in France and Nordic countries in 2020, the guide is expanding the new accolade to restaurants worldwide, according to Green Queen. The Michelin Guide spoke to the publication about its new symbol and expanded their thoughts on the efforts they are awarding with the new designation. More specifically, the guide explained why they are making environmentalism a standard now. 

"Every aspect of gastronomy touches closely or remotely on themes related to sustainable development: from the production of raw materials to their end of life, through the way they are worked and the way a restaurant is managed, gastronomy is a key tool for getting messages across and thinking about a more virtuous world," they told Green Queen.

The representative for the guide went on to say, "The Michelin Guide, as an international reference in the field of gastronomy, is committed to promoting these chefs and establishments that are committed to a more sustainable gastronomy, and therefore a more sustainable society." So, if you see a restaurant near you with a Michelin green star or green clover, add it to your bucket list. It might become one of your new favorites and you can feel good about supporting a restaurant that's helping the planet.