The Malta Independent 27 May 2024, Monday
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First time: Michelin Guide awards two stars to a Maltese restaurant

Friday, 5 April 2024, 11:33 Last update: about 3 months ago

ION Harbour, a Maltese restaurant in Valletta helmed by chef Simon Rogan, has been honoured with two Michelin stars, the first time that this has happened, the Malta Tourism Authority said Friday.

Rosami Restaurant, overlooking Spinola Bay, has been awarded one Michelin star. All previously recognized establishments maintain their one-star status for another year, the MTA said.

Michelin has unveiled the fifth edition of the Malta Michelin Guide, renowned for its discerning evaluation of culinary excellence. With roots dating back to the late 19th century, Michelin has upheld its standard of international gastronomy for over 120 years, lauding some of the world's finest dining establishments.

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Restaurants are awarded one to three MICHELIN Stars based on five key criteria: the quality of ingredients, mastery of flavors and cooking techniques, the chef's culinary identity, harmony of flavors, and consistency across visits.

Furthermore, Restaurant AYU, located opposite Manoel Island, has been included in the BIB Gourmand section for the first time. Additionally, five new restaurants have been recommended by the Michelin Guide: Terroir Ħ’Attard, One80 in Valletta, Kaiseki Valletta in Malta, as well as Level Nine by Oliver Glowing in Mġarr Harbour and Al Sale in Xagħra, both in Gozo. This brings the total number of honoured restaurants in the guide to 40.

International Director of the MICHELIN Guides Gwendal Poullennec explained “Our anonymous inspectors explored the local culinary scene, which is constantly evolving, both in terms of the number of restaurants, and the quality of the cuisine prepared, and products used. This year marks a milestone in the history of the MICHELIN Guide Malta, with the announcement of the first two MICHELIN Stars restaurant in the selection, underscoring the commitment of professionals to deliver the very best to their diners. The inspectors also noticed that the Maltese culinary spirit is changing and becoming ever more zestful and innovative. Chefs are now focusing on local gastronomy, bringing the island’s agricultural economy to the fore and thereby consolidating a more sustainable approach to Maltese cuisine. Small kitchen gardens are springing up adjacent to restaurants, enabling chefs to take advantage of local Mediterranean-fragranced products.”

Malta Tourism Authority CEO Carlo Micallef stated: “We are absolutely thrilled by today's exciting announcement by the Michelin Guide for Malta. The addition of a new two-star Michelin restaurant, alongside a new one-star restaurant, a new Bib Gourmand establishment and five new recommended including two in Gozo, underscores MTA’s commitment to culinary excellence and diversity. These accolades not only elevate Malta's status as a quality gastronomic destination but also highlight the incredible talent and innovation within our culinary scene. With each Michelin star, we're inviting the world to savour the rich flavours and vibrant culture that Malta has to offer. This recognition further cements Malta's position as a must-visit destination for food enthusiasts worldwide."

Minister for Tourism and Public Cleanliness Clayton Bartolo expressed that the Michelin Guide elevates the culinary reputation of the Maltese islands, providing restaurateurs with a platform to showcase the exceptional quality of food produced in Malta's kitchens. Minister Bartolo underscored the importance of ongoing investment and improvement within the tourism sector to uphold standards of excellence. He also emphasized the critical role tourism plays in bolstering the Maltese economy.

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