The restaurant Minibar, from José Andrés, won two Michelin stars in 2016. For Andrés, who now owns 26 restaurants, it was the moment of a lifetime.
On an episode of Business Insider’s podcast, “Success! How I Did It,” Andrés told Business Insider US editor-in-chief Alyson Shontell how it felt:
“My dream was to have Michelin stars. I’ve been very lucky in life, but the truth is that those two stars were so cool. I cried very much but not so much for me but all my team, because your team is very loyal: They can be with you but they can be with somebody else. You’re only as good as the teams you have around you.”
Andrés came to the US 26 years ago, and is known for helping popularise tapas, or Spanish small plates. In an interview with The Washington Post right after winning his two Michelin stars, Andrés said, “I used to be a 14-year-old kid who walked in front of Michelin star restaurants in Barcelona trying to get a glimpse of what was going on inside anytime they opened the kitchen door.”
Again, he praised his team: “I could live my life without the Michelin star, but life would not be the same. You can say whatever you want about Michelin, but Michelin is the dream of so many chefs like me. I am very proud of my team.”
The competition for Michelin stars was in the news in September, when French chef Sebastien Bras asked to be removed from the 2018 Michelin guide. As The New York Times reported, Bras’ restaurant Le Suquet won three Michelin stars in 1999, when it was still under Bras’ father’s ownership; Bras took over 10 years ago.
Industry experts told The Times that keeping a third star could mean spending a lot of money on maintaining the perfect atmosphere and hiring the best staff. Plus, Bras said he would sometimes be surprised by visits from Michelin inspectors.
Bras told the Times: “I want to be liberated from the pressure.”
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