The top rating for restaurants around the world is The Michelin Guide. 3 Michelin stars is the top rating and the biggest accomplishment a chef can have in his career. For you to have an idea, Miami doesn't have any 3 Michelin star restaurants, and New York only has 6. This rating comes once a year and is the toughest rating of them all. They rate the way restaurants answer the phone, to the noise, to the bathrooms, napkins, china, and most importantly food and service. Chefs can gain and loose stars every year, so they need to be on top of things from A to Z every day because they never know when they are being tested. Gaining only 1 Michelin star is a huge accomplishment as well.
The most awarded chefs in the US and world are Jean-Georges and Thomas Keller. Jean-Georges is the only chef to gain 3 Michelin stars and 4 stars from the NY times and never loose either of them in 20 years.
The James Beard Foundation gives yearly awards as well which are a huge deal. Such as best new concept, best restaurant for the year, best new chef, lifetime achievement awards, best pastry chef, best bar program...etc...these are big deals as well.