Michelin is in its expansion era. The guide is moving beyond coastal dining hubs like New York and California, into markets like Florida, Colorado, and, as of this evening, Georgia. At an inaugural Michelin ceremony later today, Atlanta will become the latest city with a Michelin guide.
In Atlanta, chefs largely reacted positively to news of Michelin’s arrival. “It’s a big deal,” says Gerry Klaskala, executive chef and owner of American fine dining restaurantin Buckhead, adding that he hopes the guide “will continue to elevate Atlanta’s culinary reputation.” Other local chefs echo that sentiment. “Early in my career, despite a plethora of great chefs and wonderful restaurants, Atlanta was overlooked,” says chef Kevin Gillespie of in Atlanta’s Glenwood Park neighborhood, where dishes are served from rolling carts. “Michelin coming to Atlanta will open the eyes of many people outside of our city, while simultaneously validating the way we Atlantans have felt about our dining scene all along.”
How Michelin charts its expansion remains relatively opaque. Critics across the country have questioned theunderlying Michelin’s expansion strategy; the organization has said that tourism money merely costs, but it also appears to inform where the guide decides to land next.
This tension came to a head in the lead-up to Colorado’s Michelin debut in September, when chefs from Aurora and Colorado Springs publicly expressed disappointment at their cities’ exclusion from the guide.reported in the days before the ceremony that tourism offices in cities that did make the cut paid a hefty sum to Michelin, while Aurora and Colorado Springs paid nothing. Gwendal Poullenec, the Michelin guide’s director, responded to the reporting by saying that while Michelin accepts “partnership” money, the vetting process to “assess the maturity” of a prospective market comes first, as well as the “vibrancy” and “dynamic potential” of a dining scene.
However Michelin ends up in a new city, there’s no denying the impact its arrival can have on featured restaurants, with the power to spike business overnight. Check back later for the full list of 2023’s Michelin-starred restaurants in Atlanta.