The Huge Change That's Coming To Canada's Dining Scene

"The idea of fine dining is not that old," according to Hotel Seymour Supper Club, which explains that the popular activity of going out to an upscale restaurant stems back only to the 18th century after the French Revolution. Displaced chefs who once served French nobles had to find new work, and many took their talents to the people by serving up fancy meals to private patrons. The idea stemmed from Paris, France, but many entrepreneurs soon found ways to combine fine hotel experiences with exquisite restaurants, and by the 1900s, high-end eateries had spread across the world and solidified fine dining as a familiar concept.

Around the same time, a certain company decided to market its tires by creating a list of quality restaurants to visit in France. The Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts details that the Michelin tire company published the first Michelin Guide in 1900 to encourage readers to drive to the recommended hotels and restaurants — and buy tires to do so. The guide eventually grew in popularity and became a worldwide phenomenon.

As of 2020, France, Japan, Italy, Germany, and the U.S. are home to the most Michelin-listed (and starred) restaurants out there. Meanwhile, some countries haven't accrued any over the years. Fine Dining Lovers reports that Canada notoriously has never claimed a Michelin Star due to the guide passing over the country's restaurant scene, but all of that may change very soon.

The Michelin Guide arrives in Canada

Food & Wine reports that the Michelin Guide is visiting Toronto this month and plans to subsequently announce which restaurants in the city will receive one, two, or three stars in the fall issue of the guide. Inspectors from the publication have already arrived to anonymously try out the city's restaurants, which will potentially be honored not only with stars, but also with recognition for sustainability and "quality food at reasonable prices."

CBC found that the inspectors plan to base their decisions around a few factors. The judgments center around the overall quality of ingredients, "mastery of flavors," how well the meal is prepared, how the chef represents themselves in the food, and the consistency of quality. Detractors of the guide have noted its lack of diversity, and some locals believe that their city's restaurants may help change that perception a bit. For now, restaurant owners and chefs may be holding their breath until the fall issue of the Michelin Guide gets published, attracting lovers of fine dining to Canada.