Dubai is a city with more than 20 Michelin-rated celebrity chefs, but until now the coveted 'Star' rating has eluded even our finest establishments.
But that could all be about to change after Michael Ellis, international director of Michelin Guides, revealed the company are well on the way towards rolling out the system right here in the UAE.
Speaking at the recent Global Restaurant Investment Forum, Ellis confirmed steps were being made to bring Dubai in line with London, Paris, Tokyo and New York, although wasn't able to put a timeframe on the launch.
"Michelin is continuing to put the flagpole of the Michelin Guide around the world," he said. "One of the reasons I’m here is because obviously Dubai is an emerging market. It is arguably one of the most exciting and dynamic restaurant cities in the world.
"And with the Michelin headquarters for Africa, India and the Middle East based here in Dubai, it’s only a matter of time before the Michelin Guide comes to Dubai.
"It would be easy to do here, because it’s a relatively small city, and English-speaking. So my guess is that it will be sooner rather than later. We could even do it next year, but that would be speculation at the moment."
As well as seeking a roaring F&B industry, tyre-firm Michelin also look for a business interest for the city as well as a sponsor for the guides. All three elements are in place in Dubai.
The Michelin Guides first diversified from useful information for motorists (maps, repairing tips, mechanics, hotels and petrol stations) to food in 1931. The now-famous star categorisation is the standard to which the world's leading restaurants hold themselves.
Five criteria are considered by judges, the same principles by which the original guides were decided. They are:
- Quality of ingredients
- Skill in the preparation
- Combinations of flavours
- Value for money
- Consistency of culinary standards (over time and throughout the menu)
HEAR FROM A MICHELIN INSPECTOR
And here's what they're fighting for:
One star: "A very good restaurant in its category"
Two star: "Excellent cooking, worth a detour"
Three star: "Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey"
Chefs in Dubai with Michelin-ratings elsewhere.
1. Jean-Georges Vongerichten
2. Pierre Gagnaire
3. Heinz Beck
4. Greg Malouf (just left)
5. Sergi Arola
6. Wolfgang Puck (currently under refurbishment)
7. Richard Sandoval
8. Marco Pierre White
9. Atul Kochhar
10. Gary Rhodes
11. Yannick Alleno
12. Giorgio Locatelli
13. Vineet Bhatia
14. Vikas Khanna
15. Jason Atherton
16. Tom Aikens
17. Gordon Ramsay
18. Claudio Sadler
19. Darren Velvick
20. Nobu Matshuhisa
21. Virgilio Martinez (coming soon)