Michelin awards first Chinese chef coveted 3 stars

Tue Dec 2, 2008 5:58am EST
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By James Pomfret

HONG KONG (Reuters Life!) - Michelin on Tuesday awarded its top three-star accolade to a Chinese chef for the first time in the celebrated gourmet guide's 108-year history, as it released its maiden directory to fine dining in China.

The Michelin guide for Hong Kong and Macau awarded 28 restaurants in the two cities star ratings, including top billing for one restaurant in each city.

Eight restaurants got two stars and 18 establishments received one star each.

Hong Kong's three-star restaurant was Lung King Heen, a Cantonese eatery in the luxury Four Seasons Hotel, whose innovative head chef Chan Yan-tak is the first Chinese granted this prestigious culinary award.

"We're very impressed by his cuisine ... in order to give him three stars he's been visited 12 times which means that he has very, very high consistent level and quality level," Jean-Luc Naret, director of the Michelin guide, told a news conference.

Only 72 restaurants worldwide hold three Michelin stars.

In Macau, the three-stars restaurant was Robuchon a Galera, run by renowned French chef Joel Robuchon, situated in the former Portuguese enclave's Hotel Lisboa.

The bilingual Chinese and English edition's other rated restaurants in Hong Kong and Macau span over 30 different types of cuisine, with over half the selection serving various types of Chinese food.   Continued...

<p>Chan Yan-tak, chief chef of Lung King Heen, poses with a cutout of Bibendum or the Michelin Man mascot, during a party celebrating the release of the first edition of the 'Michelin guide Hong Kong Macau' in Hong Kong December 2, 2008. REUTERS/Bobby Yip</p>