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MICHELIN Guide 2023: Stars in the skies over Istanbul
The announcement of the MICHELIN Guide is similar to the Oscars. The same stage set-up, the same loud and unfine classical music, and the same mispronunciation of local names. But the most considerable similarity is that when industry people and the public are surprised by the results, the jury's qualifications are put into question. The qualifications of those behind the MICHELIN Guide Istanbul 2023 selection are now a matter to ponder.
Last spring, MICHELIN declared that it would announce its first Turkey guide in October with its 2023 selection for Istanbul. Fast forward the months-long anticipation, MICHELIN announced the restaurants included in the guide at a big gala last night, and gave its stamp of approval to 53 restaurants in Istanbul. Among these 53, ten restaurants were awarded the Bib Gourmand, four were awarded one MICHELIN star, one of which was also awarded the green star indicating environmental awareness, and only one restaurant (TURK FATIH TUTAK) was awarded two MICHELIN stars.
53 restaurants is a high number for a first-time guide. For sure, this is a fact to be proud of. It’s good to see that Turkey's potential, which I thought would be judged with contempt by the West, is being recognised. Contrary to most predictions, the total number of starred restaurants is also high. Perhaps the most important thing is that there are 5 women as chefs at Bib Gourmand and higher levels. Although this number is still lower than we would like, it’s high compared to the industry average.