MALTA: Amid the largest political crisis to have ever hit the tiny Mediterranean island of Malta, Michelin announced the release of an online guide on Maltese restaurants. The guide will be available free of charge. The Michelin guide will be revealed on 26 February on Michelin’s digital platform guide.michelin.com
Malta joins 32 countries that will be covered by the Michelin Guide in 2020.
Gwendal Pullennec, the International Director of the Michelin guides said “Our mission at the Michelin Guide has always been to highlight the best gastronomic establishments around the world to its readers. Today the Maltese culinary scene has talents that are worthy of discovery by foodies from around the world.”
Malta joins Slovenia which will is also being added to the portfolio of countries that are covered by Michelin. The latter is rumoured to have paid around EUR 1 million to have Michelin judge its restaurants. It is not known what the cost for Malta has been but it is likely to run into tens of thousands of euros if not hundreds of thousands.
Pullennec said that in an effort to respect local specialities and culinary knowledge and to value the work of passionate men and women, the inspectors of the Michelin Guide particularly appreciated the diversity of the cuisine to be found on the archipelago. “At the crossroads of cultures, the Maltese gastronomic scene is a reflection of its rich past by marrying culinary influences from Italy, Mediterranean countries, North Africa and also Great Britain, not to mention contemporary trends.
Although Michelin has a tendency to keep announcements secret, it is unlikely that there will be many starred restaurants in Malta at this juncture. There is speculation of a potential one or two 1 Michelin starred restaurants and a few others that have been earmarked with the potential of making the grade in future.
A one Michelin star restaurant signifies a very good restaurant. Two stars are ‘excellent cooking that is worth a detour’ and three stars mean ‘exceptional cuisine that is worth a special journey’.
For Malta, Michelin’s presence is significant. But is the country and the restaurant sector ready?