You can't create great food on the plate without a talented, skilled team of chefs and equally if you don't have the kit to retain the flavour of food on it's journey from the back door to final dish assembly then you'll acheive nothing. Which is why unskilled chefs with calour gas camping stoves and pen knives don't get stars. Some awards will be about the food on the plate, but also it's journey and condition in getting there, surely!
So it's unlikely that a chef will get 1 Star without a team working through auto pilot muscle memory to reach perfection. And I certainly don't think they'll have ovens with hot spots, old aluminium pans, or wooden spoons that splinter. A follows B. I beleive the AA say that it's about food on the plate at 1 and 2 Rosettes and then after that it's about how the food fits in with the whole dining experience. e.g. Would you get 4 Rosettes with a poor wine list, dog eared menu, kids throwing plates down, in an unheated, drafty restaurant with the owners dog begging at the table? At the higher levels, the cooking needs the venue and setting too, and I would imagine all awards look at it that way at the higher levels.
Best practice when cooking for all awards is to keep it fresh, seasonal, and cooked where possible in a way that does not depreive the ingredients of flavour... Find harmony in flavours as you would colours, or music, and rememeber that chefs are here to facilitate cooking from the oceans and fields to the table, rather than re-invent it.