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Michelin Stars for Russian Cuisine
Editor’s office of the Russkiy Mir Portal
Louis de Funès in The Wing or the Thigh
An important event has happened in the Russian restaurant business: nine Moscow restaurants received Michelin stars for the first time in history. Until recently none of the restaurants on the territory of Russia and CIS had been listed in these most prestigious Guides to the world of high and delicious cuisine.
Almost a year ago, the international restaurant guide announced its entry into the Russian market. They decided to start with Moscow. But before publishing the guide to Moscow establishments, Michelin experts had been secretly visiting various cafés and restaurants for almost a year. That is the main frill of the guide - their rating is based on the detailed reports of the secret supertasters. The criteria for getting into the rating are also kept secret. Only the most general details are known: cuisine, price range, service, and environment are evaluated. These aspects join together to make each individual restaurant attractive.
The Michelin Guide has been around for almost 100 years, since 1926. And it started with evaluating the food in gas station snack bars. However, it gained the recognition of the public when it began awarding stars to various establishments in the country’s regions. And since 1990, this rating became international.
Today Michelin Guides are published in more than 30 countries around the world. And the most of star-awarded restaurants are in Tokyo - 193. For comparison, Paris that occupies an honorable second place has almost two times fewer of such establishments - 98.
So now the Russian Guide is on the market. A total of 69 restaurants are listed there. Getting into this rating is already an honor for any establishment. But it also has its own gradations. For example, 15 Moscow restaurants received the BIB Gourmand label, which means "good food for reasonable money".
Seven restaurants were awarded one Michelin star. Well, two restaurants - Artest-Cheaf's Table and Twins Garden - received two stars. No one has managed to achieve the highest possible rating - three stars. According to the Michelin rating, one star means the high-quality dishes that make it worth visiting the restaurant. Two stars mean that you can change your itinerary for the sake of this place. Three stars indicate that the restaurant is worth a special visit, even in another city.
According to The Washington Post the success of Moscow restaurants is "the success of Putin's ban on food imports”.
Indeed, before 2014, when the ban on food imports from certain countries was imposed in response to Western sanctions, Russia used to import $1 billion worth of products from the United States and $15 billion worth from the European Union – and that was per year. When the flow was stopped, local restaurateurs had to look for products nearby. And many of them, followed by their customers, were surprised to learn that Russia has its own delicious and unique products. For example, the Twins Garden restaurant has Kamchatka crab, halibut from Murmansk, local cheeses. Whikle Artest-Cheaf's Table will treat you with magister armhook squid, milk mushroom, and Alferyev goat cheese.
Nevertheless, Arkady Novikov, one of the most respected restaurateurs in Russia, is convinced that it's not just about the ban on imported products. It is simply that the new generation of Russian chefs wants to promote local products. And the farms that have been established in recent years are ready to offer them a large selection of good quality products.