High-end cuisine can become a "soft power" of countries

February 02, 2023 - 11:38
Viet Nam is not an unfamiliar destination to world-famous Michelin star chefs. However, when discussing a restaurant or a Michelin-starred chef in Viet Nam, the country's cuisine needs more than just a story about quality.

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What can be done to widely introduce Vietnamese cuisine?

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From luxury experiences

In 2019, many diners who came to Pink Pearl restaurant at JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay had the opportunity to enjoy the high-end menu of 2-star Michelin chef Ophélie Bares. Landes white asparagus, Oscietre caviar, Japanese sea urchin, and premium Wagyu beef are available here more frequently than in many high-end restaurants in France.

In September 2022, famous chef Ukrainian Culinary Ambassador Kovryzhenko Yurii also brought to Ha Noi the famous flavour of the "European breadbasket", including borsch, a beet soup newly designated as a "World Cultural Heritage" by UNESCO. The place that this chef chose is a deservingly luxurious restaurant belonging to the Capella Hanoi Hotel.

Chef Yurii prepares the most attractive dishes for diners at Capella Hanoi.

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Also at Capella, when Sun Hospitality Group - the resort brand of Sun Group - opened Koki restaurant at the end of July, diners had the opportunity to admire the talent of Junichi Yoshida - a Michelin star chef with unique Teppanyaki cuisine.

Even the most demanding diners cannot miss the chance to enjoy the cuisine at the luxurious space of La Maison 1888 restaurant, which is located in the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula resort. Enjoying dishes prepared by chef Michel Roux - the only person in the world whose restaurant has maintained 3-Michelin-star status for a record period - 27 years - is definitely not a trivial experience. Since being invited to Viet Nam, Michel Roux has made La Maison 1888 one of the ten best restaurants in the world voted by CNN, and leading the list of the world's Fine Dining restaurants according to the World Travel Awards. It can be said that La Maison 1888 is the first milestone marking the presence of a Michelin star in the territory of Viet Nam.

La Maison 1988 “fine-dining” restaurant belonging to InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort

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Increasingly, the enjoyment of food in Viet Nam is becoming more and more sophisticated and classy. The appearance of big names in the culinary village with well-thought-out, high-tech menus, and high-class spaces shows that Viet Nam does not lack spaces to enjoy high-class or even luxury cuisine.

To the story of lifting the Vietnamese cuisine brand name

On December 1, 2022, with the companionship of Sun Group, Michelin Guide officially announced its presence in the two largest cities in Viet Nam, Ha Noi and HCM City. With its proven prestige and influence, Michelin Guide has become the pride and desire of not only restaurants and chefs but also of a growing number of countries. Chef Hoang Tung, owner of the high-end restaurant chain T.U.N.G dining said: "For high-class cuisine, aiming for prestigious international awards and rankings such as Bocuse d'Or, Michelin star, list The World's 50 Best, etc. is an essential requirement for establishing value."

Michelin Guide Launching Press Conference in Viet Nam

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With what is available – a rich cuisine, a restaurant system that is increasingly improving, and an area of ​​rich ingredients, it is unfortunate that Viet Nam does not have a single Michelin star. "It is not true to say that Vietnamese cuisine does not have enough qualifications for a Michelin star. People just have not had the opportunity to discover it," said culinary artisan Anh Tuyet. Looking to Singapore and Thailand, neighbours are all faster to own the famous Michelin stars. They even got a Michelin star for street food.

With the honour of being invited by Sun Group to be in charge of preparing dishes for 21 heads of state from around the world at APEC 2017, which was held at the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, culinary artisan Anh Tuyet shared that traditional Vietnamese cuisine can persuade many diners, even the most fastidious. She hopes that the contributions of corporations that own a system of high-class hotels and restaurants will help to elevate the status of traditional Vietnamese cuisine. "I have participated in tourism product training at many large corporations, and I see many opportunities to promote Vietnamese cuisine to foreign visitors."

The special culinary experiences of three regions at the restaurant system of Sun Hospitality Group or the premium dishes at the restaurants of JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay and InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, etc., have elevated Vietnamese cuisine to a quintessential level while preserving tradition and diversity. Ms. Anh Tuyet said that the special thing is that these spaces are both modern and retain the quintessence of traditional cuisine: "It is very ordinary but it is very different. That is the Michelin level."

Pink Pearl Restaurant at JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay

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Mr. Hoang Tung said: “For the past two decades, Vietnamese food has been well-known and valued for its variety, flavour, and local characteristics. However, Vietnamese cuisine has never had a global brand, and especially high-end cuisine has not yet been communicated in the same language as international cuisine. As a result, the presence of the Michelin Guide in Vietnam is like an opportunity for the "bell" of Vietnamese cuisine to ring louder and louder."

Above all, Mr. Tung commented: "High-end cuisine can become the "soft power" that contributes to the positioning of the value and influence of the national culture, creating a strong attraction for cultural tourism, and promoting the expansion of the consumption market of the food industry." 

A high-end meal, along with a night at a luxury resort, as JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay with 2 French Michelin chefs, is a clear example of how elevated cuisine results in more products to attract visitors.