Ratings about the Zagat Guide and the Michelin Guide


There are many restaurants that compete to be present in the lists of the qualifications that we can find in gastronomic guides, chefs and restaurateurs strive for it. But of course, depending on the country they are in, one guide has greater credibility or prestige than another, as in the case of the Zagat Guide and the Michelin Guide.

The Zagat Guide, reigning in the United States, appeared in the 70s, a couple of New Yorkers Tim and Nina Zagat, decided to start an interesting initiative that consisted of gathering opinions about restaurants, thus generating information that marginalized the specialized criticism of so. This is how he was born and embarked on a path leading him to be one of the most important gastronomic guides in the world, his special peculiarity, being devoted to popular opinion avoiding the criticism made by experts.

The Michelin Guide is much more traditional, a little over 100 years old. but then it could be classified as an advertising guide that they gave you when you bought tires of the same brand for your car. The first time restaurants make an appearance is in 1920, then information about them was provided highlighting the highest quality. The year 1926 was decisive in the guide, the stars were born that would mark the good work of restaurants, and in our days, this guide is a European reference and in search of being a world reference. Well, the Michelin Guide uses the anonymity of its inspectors and they have independence in terms of their selection criteria, on the contrary, the Zagat Guide is prepared by clients (now also by critics of various North American newspapers to add additional information) to make us An idea, some 30,000 people contribute to the reviews that are made of 2,000 restaurants and that only in New York.

For us, the popular assessment that encompasses thousands of people is more important than the judgment of a few critics. What's this all about? The reason is an article that we have read in AFP, which shows the struggle of both guides in the United States. Although it is indicated that there is no competition and that both publications are complementary, this is something that does not convince us.

Today the Michelin Guide has published the third edition of the New York guide in which French restaurants are the undisputed kings of the city, in fact, the three stars have gone to French chefs. Michelin tries to assert itself, it only placed 135,000 copies of its New York guide compared to 650,000 copies of the Zagat Guide. Michelin hopes to grow in popularity in the North American market by selling the stars as something exclusive and of great value, awarded by anonymous, responsible and competent critics. We would have to talk a lot about the evaluations of both guides, especially the one made by specialized critics, we only have to remember how many times unfair evaluations have been denounced, but that is another issue to be discussed in greater depth.

Zagat sells his popular wisdom, the guide produced by everyone and for everyone, although perhaps somewhat overshadowed by the participation of the food critics in the newspapers. Honestly, if we had to choose one, we would almost opt ​​for the Zagat, it is another philosophy. What do you think?

Via | AFP More information | Zagat More information | El País More information | The World Directly to the Paladar | Michelin Red Guide France 2007, opens the first chef with 3 Michelin stars

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