New Michelin guides for Asia

The rising culinary status of cuisine from Singapore, South Korea and China has provoked the launch of three new Michelin guides

The team of anonymous Michelin guide inspectors in Asia is about to get bigger as the region welcomes the launch of three new Michelin guides in the next 12 months.

July will kick off this wave of launches with the publication of the Singapore guide, which will be published in collaboration with the Singapore Tourism Board and Robert Parker Wine Advocate.

“The launch of Singapore’s very first edition of the Michelin guide will be a testament of our culinary journey. With the rising trend of food travel, the Michelin guide will help draw more visitors looking to savour the best of what we have to offer,” said Melissa Ow, deputy chief executive of the Singapore Tourism Board.

Breaking with convention, Michelin has introduced a number of new initiatives with this launch. The inaugural Singapore edition will be presented at a gala dinner, which is open to ticket holders who want to see the stars being handed out to the chefs. Additionally, Michael Ellis, international director of the Michelin guides, will host a trade seminar for Singaporean chefs and restaurateurs, sharing insights into the machinery of the Michelin guides.

Following that will be a year-long chef dining series, which will see chefs with multiple Michelin stars fly in to prepare exclusive dinners for Singaporean diners. Another initiative, the local chef dining series, will turn the focus on Singapore’s newly crowned chefs and restaurants.

The second half of the year will see the launch of Michelin guides to Seoul and Shanghai. The news of the 2017 Seoul Michelin has been welcomed with much excitement. It reflects a growth in popularity of Korean food, which has seen foods such as kimchi and bibimbap cement their place in global culinary vocabulary. “Seoul is well known for wonderfully eclectic dining that ranges from popular traditional fare to gourmet restaurants,” says Ellis. “Seoul has evolved into a world-class culinary destination. Our inspectors are impatient to start wandering the streets of the city, discovering the high quality of its culinary scene.”

The 28th edition of the guides will be launched in 2017 in Shanghai, marking the first time a guide is launched in mainland China. At the time of the announcement, Ellis said that the Michelin team had been won over by the richness and quality of Shanghai’s cuisine. He said: “The city is an economic and cultural crossroad and its gastronomy is the result of a strong culinary heritage, which makes the dining scene very exciting. Shanghai has popular to fine-dining restaurants, and we are eager to discover the high quality of Shanghai’s gastronomy, and to start the selection.”

Tina Nielsen