Michelin adds Istanbul to culinary guide, will award stars in fall

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From Gordon Ramsay to Marco Pierre White, many know a few Michelin star chefs or restaurants. The famed rating system has been around the world in several countries and cities and it is finally coming to Istanbul, the meeting point of continents, to add the metropolis to its distinguished list of covered cities.

The Michelin Guide will announce Istanbul’s Michelin restaurants – and the number of stars they received – on Oct. 11, a senior official from the company said Thursday.

“To date, the Michelin Guide is present in 37 international destinations, and today I am delighted to announce that Istanbul will become the 38th destination to join the Michelin Guide collection,” Gwendal Poullennec, Michelin Guide’s international director, told a press conference in Istanbul.

“Since its debut, the Michelin Guide has always been on the lookout for the world at (its) best culinary destinations,” he added. “It is all designed to explore them and encourage food lovers to discover their distinctive flavors.”

Touting the Turkish metropolis, he said: “According to my team of inspectors, Istanbul is a first-rate gastronomy destination.”

He explained: “Here in Istanbul, the incredible mix of cultures rooted in various culinary traditions and know-how combines with the talent of chefs to shape a remarkable culinary landscape.”

By “remaining loyal to its vibrant culinary heritage,” Istanbul also offers gourmet, innovative recipes created by talented, homegrown chefs, he said, adding that Michelin inspectors “have been working on the ground to make their very first selection of restaurants.”

“We will have the pleasure to present it on Oct. 11 here in Istanbul,” he added.

Also speaking at the event, Turkey’s Culture and Tourism minister called the move an “important development for Istanbul’s rich gastronomic and culture.”

The Michelin Guides have been published since 1900 by the French tire company of the same name. According to Michelin Guide’s website, “restaurants may receive zero to 3 stars for the quality of their food based on five criteria: Quality of the ingredients used, mastery of flavor and cooking techniques, the personality of the chef in his cuisine, value for money and consistency between visits.”

“Restaurant inspectors do not look at the interior decor, table setting, or service quality when awarding stars – these are instead indicated by the number of ‘covers’ it receives, represented by the fork and spoon symbol,” it added.


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