Michelin Publishes its 1st Food Guide for Bangkok
“Over almost a year, our tasters visited about 500 places to get to the published list. The initial list is gathered through what we can find in the media, through local reviews and blogs. But the tasters also go around asking the servers, the chefs, the butchers, the local bakers, and anybody who might be in the know. The detective work is actually a huge part of being an inspector, and yes, there are incentives for them to sleuth!”–Michael Ellis, International Director.
Australia-trained Thai Chef Bee Satongun opened Paste in Y 2013 with her husband, Australian Chef Jason Bailey. World class Chef’s like these believe in the city’s potential as a food capital beyond its cheap and cheerful offering in the streets.
Michelin Guide Bangkok 2018 lists 14 1-Star and 3 2-Star restaurants, there are no 3-Star establishment.
The Big Q: Why was Jay Fai a local food stall given a Star rating?
The Big A: Jay Fai, 72 anni, is best known for her crab-stuffed omelettes which, priced per plate at 800 baht upwards, luxe by street food standards.
Do not expect an answer, as Michael Ellis, the guide’s international director, says that the guide is completely autonomous when it comes to curating the list of restaurants.
Mr. Ellis said that Bangkok has been on the Michelin guide’s international expansion plan since Y 2010.
And, that it was under the auspices of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) that the Bangkok Edition was finally launched last year.
Some critical industry observers see the Michelin Guide’s launch as part of the government’s effort to reposition Bangkok as a food destination, where high net worth jet-setters can treat themselves in luxurious fashion, and dine like royalty.
An official TAT release says that the guide is meant to boost overall food spending by tourists by 10%.
Food spending made up 20% of Thailand’s total tourism in Y 2016.
Mr. Ellis agrees that the world’s Top food guide has a very pronounced economic impact. “The food tourism sector, well-heeled people who plan their vacations around where to eat, is very attractive to all tourism boards, as this demographic injects a significant amount into the economy. The Stars, as a widely recognized symbol of quality that is homogeneous across the different cities, serve to map out the routes for these travelers.”
The point of the Guide
For a world of holidaymakers unfamiliar with the region, the Michelin Guide is guiding light. directing them to destination restaurants previously not known.
The Michelin Guide is a recognition of Bangkok restaurants, and its cuisine. Bangkok is a great food city, and now it is being recognized as a great restaurant city, that is indeed the purpose of the Guide.
It is interesting to note that while the street food listings are given short 2-line descriptions in the Singapore guide, and those in the Bangkok edition are given full descriptions, like all other listings.
Have a terrific President’s Day weekend.