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53 restaurants make it to Michelin’s 1st Istanbul guide

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Oct 12, 2022 - 02:25 AM

ISTANBUL (AA) – Fifty-three restaurants in Istanbul have made it to the Michelin Guide for the city.

“The presentation of the first selection of restaurants of the MICHELIN Guide Istanbul is a historic moment both for our teams of inspectors and for this unique city,” said Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the Michelin Guides at a star revelation event on Tuesday.

“With 53 restaurants, including 5 Starred establishments, our selection sheds light on the breadth of this talented culinary landscape, proud of its identity and traditions, but also open to the world,” Poullennec added.

“Istanbul has always been a prominent cultural and touristic destination; today with the MICHELIN Guide, we hope to express to local and international gourmets alike, that it is also a prime gastronomic destination,” he said.

Speaking at the event, Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said: “I sincerely believe that this special interest that Michelin shows in Istanbul and Turkish Cuisine is only the beginning and that Izmir, Bodrum, and Cesme will also join the Michelin family with their unique cuisines, creative chefs and distinguished businesses in the coming period.”

Located in Istanbul’s historic Sisli district, Turk Fatih Tutak received the city’s first two Michelin stars “for its exceptional cuisine.” The guide described the restaurant as “a modern and sophisticated stage for gourmets looking for typically Turkish flavors, which are cleverly reinterpreted by chef Fatih Tutak.” Tutak returned to Türkiye in 2019 and opened his restaurant after working with the world’s culinary elite.

Also, four restaurants received one Michelin star including Araka in Istanbul’s Yenikoy neighborhood for its chef Zeynep Pinar Tasdemir’s “highly personal and audacious cuisine with a focus on seasonal vegetables and herbs,” Mikla, in the Beyoglu district with its cuisine revisiting “Anatolian traditions with a touch of innovation,” Neolokal, also in Beyoglu, with its “daring techniques and culinary innovation” and Nicole in Beyoglu as its “traditional Turkish recipes rub shoulders with Middle-Eastern spices”.

Neolokal also received the Michelin green star which promotes restaurants in its selections committed to a more sustainable gastronomy.

Mevlut Ozkaya at Murver located in Beyoglu received the Michelin Young Chef award.

The culinary guide announced in April that it added the Turkish metropolis of Istanbul to its distinguished list of covered cities.

The Michelin Guides have been published since 1900 by the French tire company of the same name. According to Michelin Guide’s website, “restaurants may receive zero to 3 stars for the quality of their food based on five criteria: quality of the ingredients used, mastery of flavor and cooking techniques, the personality of the chef in his cuisine, value for money and consistency between visits.”

“Restaurant inspectors do not look at the interior decor, table setting, or service quality when awarding stars – these are instead indicated by the number of ‘covers’ it receives, represented by the fork and spoon symbol,” it added.

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