It’s September, and that’s way past when the Michelin Guide typically releases its Chicago ratings. The tire guide will usually hold a local party in April or May to coincide with its new star announcement. While there’s no list to discuss, just before the Labor Day weekend, Michelin did reveal how long Chicago chefs will have to wait for that potentially life-changing call.
For 2023, Michelin is shaking things up. Last week, the tire guide announced that it will make this year’s announcements from a private party in November in New York that will bring together chefs from Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C. There’s no reason given why Michelin has changed formats (Maybe it’s financial? Maybe the world is still in a pandemic?). This year in America, Michelin made its California announcement in July and a Florida announcement in May.
Along with the stars, Chicago remains waiting for the new Bib Gourmands, the list that recognizes restaurants that provide better value. It’s sometimes also seen as a consolation prize for restaurants that didn’t earn star status. Stars are also more focused on fine dining. Michelin is trying a few new things: For the second-straight year, Michelin released a new list that included seven Chicago restaurants. The “New Additions” list was released in March.
Chicago Chefs raise $62K for Maui
Chicago Chefs Cook, an effort of chefs, restaurant owners, and other partners — united by the Green City Farmers Market — has raised more than $61,668 to benefit restaurants and their workers in Maui.
The group is led by Sarah Stegner, Eda Davidman, Jodi Fyfe, and Darren Gest, and the effort included an auction from August 23 to September 3. The money will benefit the Chef Hui Maui Hospitality Relief Fund. It’s the latest effort by Chicago Chefs Cook which continues to find new ways to help a diverse number of communities.
Tipped Minimum Wage Vote
Sure, activists feel it’s a done deal and their work is done when it comes to ridding Chicago of the tipped minimum wage. But on Wednesday, the city council could begin scheduling hearings so alderpersons can debate the matter. The Illinois Restaurant Association is working with Mayor Brandon Johnson’s camp. One Fair Wage, the nationwide group that’s pushing legislation across several U.S. municipalities, predicts Chicago should adopt an ordinance on October 4.
One consequence of ending the tipped minimum wage, at least on the consumer side, will likely be more restaurants employing service fees (they differ from gratuities with fees taxed by the government, for example). One example is Soul & Smoke, the counter-service barbecue restaurant with locations in Evanston and Avondale. Last week, owners Heather Bublick and D’Andre Carter announced their counter-service restaurant would add an 8-percent service charge and that they were eliminating tipping. The fee will be distributed evenly to their workers including delivery drivers, dishwashers, and cashiers.