In the culinary industry, the Michelin award is a prestigious title that every chef aspires to achieve. But what exactly is Michelin? Today, we will explore all the fascinating details about this esteemed award. If you are a food enthusiast, don’t miss out on this enlightening article about culinary knowledge!
Nowadays, the Michelin star has surpassed its function as just an award and has become a reliable standard for evaluating the quality of restaurants and the skills of chefs. In fact, many restaurants only need to possess one Michelin star to enjoy significant advantages in their business. For chefs, obtaining a Michelin star requires tremendous effort and dedication to honing their craft. Achieving a Michelin star is challenging, but maintaining it is even more difficult. So, what exactly is this prestigious award? Where does it originate from, and what are the criteria for achieving it?
What is Michelin Star?
The Michelin star plays the most anticipated role in the renowned culinary guidebook, The Michelin Guide, which was established in 1900. It is a magazine that introduces specialties and quality dining establishments in the UK and Ireland, and today it has expanded its scope to cover the global culinary scene. Can be say that Michelin stars in the culinary world are as prestigious and esteemed as the Grammy Awards in music or the Oscars in film.
However, the number of Michelin stars awarded to each restaurant is not fixed annually. In addition to bestowing stars, Michelin experts can also revoke them if a restaurant fails to maintain its quality. Therefore, the pursuit of Michelin star each year becomes extremely intense and stressful for chefs, businesses, and food establishments.
The Criteria for Michelin Stars
The Michelin awards consist of three different levels (in ascending order): 1, 2, and 3 stars. However, until today, the detailed and specific criteria to achieve a Michelin star remain undisclosed. Nonetheless, each level of Michelin stars is characterized as follows:
- One Michelin star signifies a restaurant that is very good compared to the general standard.
- Two Michelin stars are awarded to restaurants with exceptional culinary quality.
- Three Michelin stars are reserved for restaurants with a unique culinary style, reaching the pinnacle of gastronomy.
How Michelin Stars are Evaluated
Every year, Michelin Guide’s culinary experts discreetly visit restaurants to experience their cuisine. The work of these culinary experts is kept confidential, even from their loved ones, to ensure the utmost objectivity and fairness. After dining at the restaurants, they come together to discuss and evaluate in the most impartial manner. It is this objective assessment that garners respect for the Michelin awards within the culinary world.
According to observations from culinary experts and restaurant managers, Michelin’s evaluation criteria encompass a harmonious combination of multiple factors. These factors include:
- Firstly, the quality of ingredients, which must meet standards of freshness, cleanliness, and taste.
- Next, the dishes presented by the restaurant must meet specific criteria: delicious taste, appealing presentation, and an exceptional quality that sets them apart from similar dishes at other establishments. These criteria should be consistent across the entire menu.
- Lastly, criteria related to the restaurant’s ambiance, service staff’s attitude, music, and more contribute to the evaluation of Michelin stars.
However, in recent years, there have been instances where Michelin stars have been awarded to simple-style eateries, emphasizing that food quality remains the top priority. As a result, the Michelin awards have long become an intriguing field for those involved in the culinary industry.
Famous Michelin-Starred Restaurants in Hanoi
Vietnam has been making its mark on the culinary world, with several restaurants achieving the prestigious Michelin stars. These restaurants have been honored for their exceptional culinary offerings, showcasing the rich flavors and unique traditions of Vietnamese cuisine. Let’s celebrate and recognize the following restaurants that have attained Michelin stars, solidifying their position among the best in the world:
GIA (Hanoi) is a Vietnamese restaurant with a contemporary style led by Chef Sam Tran. The restaurant has been awarded one Michelin star for its seasonal menu, which draws inspiration from the culinary heritage of Vietnam. GIA is characterized by its intricately presented and visually appealing dishes that showcase a harmonious blend of delicate flavors, refreshing acidity, and standout textures. The Michelin star awarded to GIA is a testament to its commitment to culinary excellence and innovation.
Hibana by Koki restaurant
Hibana by Koki (Hanoi) offers an impressive visual dining experience with a 14-seat counter located in the basement of Capella Hotel, where Chef Hiroshi Yamaguchi showcases his masterful and meticulous teppanyaki cooking, delivering flavorful and aromatic dishes. The menu features luxurious creations made from premium ingredients directly imported from Japan, with shipments arriving twice a week. Some notable ingredients include abalone, spiny lobster, sea urchin, Yaeyama Kyori beef, and Hokkaido king crab. The dishes exude a sense of sophistication and highlight the exquisite flavors of these ingredients. The Michelin star bestowed upon Hibana by Koki recognizes its exceptional culinary craftsmanship and dedication to providing an unforgettable dining experience.
Tam Vi (Hanoi) is a restaurant that embraces the classic style of a traditional tea house, showcasing the rich flavors of Northern Vietnamese cuisine. The establishment features a collection of antique Chinese-style furniture and wooden boards engraved with couplets. The restaurant primarily serves home-style dishes from the Northern region of Vietnam, but guests can also choose from a selection of dishes from Central and Southern Vietnam. Notable dishes at Tam vi include Snail Patties served with fresh herbs, rice vermicelli, and fish sauce; and Crab and Water Spinach Soup, highlighting the distinct flavor of crab and a clear broth. The Michelin star awarded to Tam Vi recognizes its commitment to preserving and showcasing the culinary traditions of Vietnam’s northern region.
These Michelin-starred restaurants in Vietnam showcase the exceptional talent, creativity, and dedication of their chefs and staff, elevating Vietnamese cuisine to international acclaim. They serve as a testament to the rich culinary heritage and culinary excellence that Vietnam has to offer. Through their gastronomic delights, these restaurants bring the flavors of Vietnam to the world stage, inviting diners to embark on a memorable culinary journey.