The surprising reason Minnesota has no Michelin star restaurants

A red book on a table
There are no Michelin star restaurants in Minnesota, and that has nothing to do with the quality of our dining scene.
Courtesy of Michelin Guide

In the Hulu show “The Bear,” a troubled chef propels his family's sandwich shop and its staff into the world of fine dining.

When season two premiered, the MPR News team noticed a spike in the number of Google searches for Michelin star restaurants here in Minnesota. But those searches turned up zilch.

There are no Michelin star restaurants in Minnesota, and the chances that we will ever have a restaurant rated with a star — or three — by the France-based Michelin Guide are slim to none.

That has everything to do with how the Michelin tire company chooses where to spend its time and nothing to do with the number of world-class restaurants and chefs in our state, said food writer Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl.

Getting Michelin to Minnesota would require an investment of hundreds of thousands — or maybe even millions — of dollars. Moskowitz Grumdahl spoke with All Things Considered host Tom Crann about how the rating process works, the origins of the Michelin guide and which Minnesota restaurants would get stars if only Michelin would give Minnesota the time of day.

Click play on the audio player above to hear the conversation.

Editor’s note: During this conversation, the Czech Republic is mistakenly referred to as Czechoslovakia. We apologize for the error.

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