Updated November 2015
At that time any name that the famous Curnonsky chose would, automatically in France, be accepted; Curnonsky gave the Michelin rubber-tire man the name Bibendum.
How does the Michelin Red Guide work
The Red Guide is very important for the traveler in France. When you arrive in a strange town or village, the Red Michelin guide will find you somewhere to eat and sleep. On more than one occasion, I have arrived in a small town, and the Red Guide has saved me from a possible sleepless night. For that alone, I give the French Red Michelin top marks. If they had told me a little more, even without grading, about the type of food served in the restaurants in town, I might have been saved a poorly prepared diner.
The Red Guide’s competition.
The Red Guide Michelin leads, in sales, by a long way, in France, from its nearest competitor, the Guide Gault Millau. The Guide Gault Millau rates the restaurants they consider good to excellent not with stars, but with one to five Toques Blanche. A toques blanche is the white, tall, chef’s hat. If you are searching for restaurants in an area where you have no prior information use the Michelin Red Guide and the Gault Millau together along with a local guide book, and of course the internet. Together you will find good restaurants that meet your budget. The founders of the Gault Millau were the two food writers who gave the name to Nouvelle Cuisine. Nouvelle cuisine in the 1950's and 1960's changed France's kitchens and gave birth to today's modern and lighter cuisine.
Curnonsky was an author and the accepted leader of the food critics of his day. His real name was Maurice Edmund Sailland, (1872 -1956), but all knew him as Curnonsky.
Curnonsky, like most of his late 19th-century early 20th century colleagues, at least those who could afford to own cars, was classically educated. Classically educated meant that they studied, the history, politics and philosophy of ancient Rome and Greece.