HÀ NỘI — The world's most prestigious gastronomic publication, the Michelin Guide, has officially launched in Việt Nam, with Hà Nội and HCM City joining the list of destinations covered by its inspectors.
In a video presented at an inauguration event in Hà Nội yesterday, Gwendal Poullennec, International director of the Michelin Guide, said: "Since its debut, the Michelin Guide has always been on the lookout for the world's best culinary destinations. It is our desire to explore them and encourage food lovers to discover their distinctive flavours.
"The Michelin Guide is present in more than 40 international destinations. And today, I am delighted to announce that Hà Nội and HCM City will become the two new destinations to join the Michelin Guide collection."
Poullennec said that according to his team of inspectors, both Hà Nội and HCM City are first-rate gastronomic destinations.
|The Michelin Experiences Director of Communications, Elizabeth Boucher-Anselin (centre), and Managing Director of Michelin Vietnam Ahmad Faiez Mohamed Pisal (right) at the Q&A section at the inauguration event of 'Michelin Guide' held yesterday in Capella Hanoi. — VNS Photo Thúy Hằng
"Hà Nội, being the country's capital, has centuries-old architecture. The city's cultural charms and culinary traditions are everywhere – on the street and in small shops, serving a variety of Vietnamese dishes using fresh local ingredients," he said.
"HCM City, Việt Nam's economic hub, is shaping to be another Asian destination for dining," he added. "Local chefs who have gained experience in kitchens abroad are returning to add their own interpretations to Vietnamese cuisine. Mixed with European influence and local traditions, the food scene in HCM City and Hà Nội is lively and vivid with an array of offerings ranging from small shops to high-end restaurants."
According to Elizabeth Boucher-Anselin, Michelin Experiences director of Communications, the restaurant selection of the Michelin Guide in Hà Nội and HCM City will be independently made by the famous anonymous inspectors following the Guide's historical and global methodology.
"Our inspectors always work anonymously and behave like any other customers, they pay all their bills and maintain the independence that gives our recommendations their strength and credibility. There won't be any difference in evaluation restaurants in Paris, New York or Hà Nội," she said.
Only the quality of the cuisine offered by the restaurants will be assessed by the inspectors according to the five universal criteria – the quality of the products; the mastery of cooking techniques; the harmony of flavours; the personality of the cuisine; and the consistency of the food quality, both over time and throughout the entire menu.
"We also consider the 'local identity" presented through the food," Boucher-Anselin said.
For several months now, the Michelin Guide inspectors have been working on the ground to make their first-ever selection of restaurants, which will be revealed in June 2023.
|Iconoclastic French chef Pierre Gagnaire, who won three Michelin Stars at a Maison 1888, working at InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort in Đà Nẵng. — Photo courtesy of Sun Group
The arrival of the Michelin Guide in Việt Nam is supported by the Sun Group – a real estate developer specialising in luxurious resorts and world-class entertainment complexes.
In a speech at the inauguration yesterday, Sun Group's Chairman of the Board, Đặng Minh Trường, said: "Over the past 15 years, to accompany the development of Việt Nam's tourism, Sun Group has always strived to bring the world's quintessence to Việt Nam. Today, with the Michelin Guide to Việt Nam launch, we want Việt Nam to be known as a destination with beautiful nature, magnificent resorts and entertainment complexes and as a world-class culinary destination with Michelin-starred restaurants."
"This is also an element to draw more high-spending tourists to the country. Besides, it will also help to improve the gastronomic and service quality, including skills of chefs and restaurant staffs to meet the international standards so that they can compete with other top culinary destinations in the world," he added.
The Michelin Guide was created in 1900 in France. For more than 120 years, it has remained loyal to its original ambition to independently guide world travellers and local foodies to the best restaurants.
The guide conveys its restaurant reviews through an extensive system of distinctions, the most famous of which are its globally renowned Michelin Stars, awarded to the best culinary experiences within the guide's restaurant selection.
One Michelin Star is awarded to restaurants for "high-quality cooking that is worth a stop", two Michelin Stars for "excellent cooking that is worth a detour", and three Michelin Stars for "exceptional cuisine that is worth a special journey".
Alongside the coveted Star ratings, the selection will also include the popular Bib Gormand category, a distinction awarded to restaurants that provide value-for-money meals. — VNS