The MICHELIN Guide Malaysia has recently announced that in addition of the annual Star Revelation, there will be a periodical announcement, with the first announcement slated in June. We attended an intimate press conference with Elizabeth Boucher-Anselin, MICHELIN Guide Experiences Director of Communication to find out more on where and how these revelations will be made, as well as some further questions on the inspection process.
“Our inspectors couldn’t wait to reveal some of their latest discoveries to gourmets and travellers, as they’re experiencing a very exciting culinary scene in both Kuala Lumpur and Penang. We hope that these regular revelations and updates continue to create excitement and provide opportunities for Malaysian gourmets to continue supporting this profession, and we invite everyone to discover the restaurants around them.”, — Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the MICHELIN Guide.
MICHELIN Guide Malaysia Live Updates
At the press conference, it was revealed that MICHELIN Guide Malaysia will be releasing Live Updates throughout the year. Here’s 4 key takeaways about the Live Updates. These eateries which are considered the Inspector’s “crushes”, places they have enjoyed and wanted them for an earlier revelation.
1. Live Updates revelation in June 2023.
The Live Updates are announcements that will be revealed throughout the year, with the first being next month in June, with another later in the year.
2. MICHELIN Guide digital revelations.
The new named restaurant will be exclusively revealed on the MICHELIN Guide website and MICHELIN Guide mobile app.
3. A “New” label.
The new restaurant will have a “NEW” label beside it to let readers identify them.
4. Complete revelation at annual Revelations.
All the “NEW” restaurants will be officially announced at the MICHELIN Guide Revelation 2024.
In addition to the Live Updates, we also were able to have a Q&A Session with Elizabeth Boucher-Anselin with more questions.
Can you tell us why so few street food, what Malaysia is known for, was given a bib gourmand or under Michelin select and how strict are the rules regarding street food stalls when it comes to its premise? For example, why do many street food stalls not qualify?
As mentioned, this is only the first edition of the MICHELIN Guide in Kuala Lumpur & Penang. When we enter a new destination, we are here to stay, therefore, we ensure that there is a mature gastronomy potential in the destination. We’re positive that over time, we will be able to discover more food establishments and bring these experiences to everyone through our Guide.
How do you resolve the issue with street food stalls that can be mobile or doesn’t have a fixed address?
They will need to indicate how to find the place, if a stall is moving all the time without a planning to indicate to consumer, it could be a problem. For example in Thailand, there is a little cart that is on the same street, so that way, it can be found and included.
What are the specific logistical requirements to qualify for the bib gourmand?
All restaurants selected by the MICHELIN Guide follow the same 5 criteria used by all inspectors around the world, be it a MICHELIN Star, Selected or Bib Gourmand.
What is your process in determining a Green Star?
To be awarded the MICHELIN Green Star our inspectors consider things such as: the provenance of the ingredients; the use of seasonal produce; the restaurant’s environmental footprint; food waste systems; general waste disposal and recycling; resource management; and the communication between the team and the guests about the restaurant’s sustainable approach.
When it comes to a Green Star, it is a distinction that the inspection team is committed in writing a new page in gastronomy and do not consult any outside party. Because views of sustainability are broad, they do not force people into pigeonholing a specific type of sustainable practice, as a solution today could be a problem for tomorrow. Also, many chefs were already doing sustainability before the Green Star.
What specific months do the inspectors start inspecting the restaurants?
Inspectors do not have specific months in inspecting restaurants as they have been working throughout the year trying out eateries in deciding places that meet the 5 criteria used by all inspectors around the world.
In Malaysia food culture in Kuala Lumpur in reality, really means the Klang Valley. Will Michelin Kuala Lumpur expand to include surrounding cities like Michelin Bangkok?
We recognise that every city has its unique gourmet culture. The MICHELIN Guide will continue to do full assessments in the country, and if there is any new information, we will share it with everyone.
Malaysia is a destination that our inspection team fell in love with. We started with Kuala Lumpur and Penang, we hope that in the future we will do so. The MICHELIN Guide inspectors are always looking for new places to cover – in Malaysia and in other countries. Curiosity and open-mindedness – the best meal they will get is one that they have not got yet. We are going to find more restaurants in Kuala Lumpur and Penang, we decided collectively with the Inspection team, we have decided to launch the Immediate Release.
Is there an emphasis to highlight unique cultural cuisine?
We are testing and evaluating culturally but at the end of the day, it will remain the same. Important to have same equity regardless of culture.
The MICHELIN Guide unveiled its very first 2023 Kuala Lumpur and Penang selection last December where a total of 97 restaurants across 20 types of cuisines that included four 1 MICHELIN Star restaurants.
| PHOTOGRAPHY: MICHELIN GUIDE | WEBSITE: MICHELIN GUIDE |