South African chef wins Michelin star in France

unnamed-3A restaurant run by a South African chef has won a Michelin star in France.

Restaurant Jan, run by chef-patron Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, won the accolade in the new Michelin guide to France, published today. The restaurant is one of 52 to receive a star for 2016.

Last year, Jan was voted as one of the best restaurants in the world by Conde Nast Traveller, which praised its “healthy modern cooking” inspired by van der Westhuizen’s grandmother. The chef offers his take on South African classics, with a menu featuring things like mosbolletjies, biltong and melktert.

Michelin-Guide-2016-cover-809x468Michelin today awarded a total of 54 restaurants with new stars, including 42 with one star. Among these is British celebrity chef  Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant Le Pressoir d’Argent in Bordeaux.

Meanwhile super chefs Alain Ducasse and Christian Le Squer received Michelin’s top accolade of three stars for their restaurants in Paris. Ducasse recuperated his three stars at his restaurant at the hotel Plaza Athénée, while Le Squer won three stars for Le Cinq, his restaurant in the George V hotel.

Ten restaurants celebrated winning two stars, with five of the winners located in Paris. These include: Matthieu Pacaud’s Histoires, Jean-François Piège’s Le Grand Restaurant, Christophe Moret’s L’Abeille at the Shangri-La, Sylvestre at Hotel Thoumieux and Le Gabriel at La Réserve with Jérôme Banctel at its helm.

However, the release of the guide was overshadowed by the news of the demise of three-Michelin-starred chef Benoit Violier, who yesterday was found dead after an apparent suicide.

Thomas Keller apologises after Per Se disappoints New York Times food critic

12621998_975256932557275_8230811442901115718_oThomas Keller has today issued an apology for failing to meet the high standards he and his team are committed to providing to their guests at his New York restaurant Per Se.

The apology comes after New York Times food critic Pete Wells panned the three-Michelin-starred restaurant in a review earlier this month, awarding Per Se just two out of five stars.

In some of his most acerbic comments Wells declared Per Se’s tasting menu “among the worst food deals in New York”; compared a mushroom broth to “bong water”; called overcooked lobster “gristle of the sea”; and pronounced the waiting staff as “oddly unaccommodating”.

Here’s Keller’s response:

To our Guests:

At all of our restaurants, in our kitchens and dining rooms, we make every effort to provide you with the best possible experience. We consider it our professional responsibility to ensure that every one of you feels special and cared for. To us, it is imperative that we improve and evolve every day. We constantly examine ourselves, our menu, our service and our standards.

Regretfully, there are times when we do not meet those standards. The fact that The New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells’ dining experiences at Per Se did not live up to his expectations and to ours is greatly disappointing to me and to my team. We pride ourselves on maintaining the highest standards, but we make mistakes along the way. We are sorry we let you down.

We are not content resting on what we did yesterday. We believe we can do better for ourselves, our profession and most importantly our guests. We have the opportunity, the tools, the self-motivation and the dedication to do so.

When we fall short, we work even harder. We are confident that the next time you visit Per Se or any of our other restaurants, our team will deliver a most memorable experience.

— Thomas Keller, Chef / Proprietor

David Kinch at Manresa wins three Michelin stars

Michelin_Man_SF_2016_CoverCalifornia earlier this month welcomed one new three-star, and two new two-star restaurants, as the 2016 Michelin guide to San Francisco Bay Area & Wine Country was released.

Michelin made the official announcement at a gala event in San Francisco, which saw industry heavyweights, including Thomas Keller (The French Laundry), Christopher Kostow (Restaurant at Meadowood), Dominique Crenn (Atelier Crenn) and Michael Judge (Saison), gather to celebrate the guide’s new additions.

David Kinch’s Manresa in Los Gatos in the Santa Cruz Mountains, about 60 miles south of San Francisco, joined the French Laundry and the Restaurant at Meadowood in Napa Valley, as well as Benu and Saison in San Francisco, in California’s three-star echelon.

Manresa reopened at the beginning of this year following a six-month closure after a devastating fire destroyed much of the restaurant. At the time of the reopening Kinch said that one of the silver linings of the disaster had been that it had given him and his team the opportunity to be introspective and revisit and re-evaluate things. Following the reopening Manresa appointed former three-star Grace and Saison sous chef Mitch Lienhard as chef de cuisine and tweaked “a lot of little things” to become more efficient.

Manresa.DavidKinch.CREDIT Eric WolfingerAnd it paid off. Speaking to me exclusively for this article, Michelin’s head inspector for the US said: “It’s difficult to identify one specific improvement [at Manresa] as rather it was a matter of all the pieces of a very intricate puzzle coming together. Chef Kinch has always been brilliant, but the creativity wasn’t always as solidly impressive as we have noticed of late. The meals experienced over the past year were the most consistent display of excellence thus far and there is no question this team has continued its upward trajectory after many years of focused creative evolution.”

Michelin also promoted two restaurants to two stars this year. They were Campton Place at the Taj Hotel in San Francisco’s Financial District, where chef Srijith Gopinathan serves a menu of Indian and South Asian influences, which “over-deliver on taste and flavour”; and Commis, the first two-star restaurant in Oakland, where James Syhabout delivers “elegant and creatively complex seasonal dishes”. California now has a total of seven two-star restaurants.

Fifteen restaurants celebrated winning their first Michelin star, including Mourad Lahlou’s eponymous Moroccan eatery Mourad, Melissa Perello’s Octavia, former pop-up The Lazy Bear and Kin Khao, a Thai Bib Gourmand that went up one star. Other newcomers include All-Spice, Al’s Place, Aster, Californios, Commonwealth, Lord Stanley, Nico, Omakase, Rasa, Sushi Yoshizumi and Wako.

Commenting on Northern California’s dining scene, Michelin’s US head inspector said it is “quite different from New York or Chicago, and substantially different from Southern California”, including Los Angeles. “Northern California has a very distinctive culinary expression that is of course very product-driven, which is notable in that it is reflected across all cuisine types. In addition the respect for product is so intense and intrinsic to the cooking in Northern California that the level of respect and appreciation comes through in an entirely unique style.”

The full list of Michelin stars in San Francisco Bay Area & Wine Country:

Three stars:
Benu, San Francisco
The French Laundry, Wine Country
Manresa, South Bay
The Restaurant at Meadowood, Wine Country
Saison, San Francisco

Two stars:
Acquerello, San Francisco
Atelier Crenn, San Francisco
Baumé, South Bay
Campton Place, San Francisco
Coi, San Francisco
Commis, East Bay
Quince, San Francisco

One star:
All Spice, San Francisco
Al’s Place, San Francisco
Ame, San Francisco
Aster, San Francisco
Auberge du Soleil, Wine Country
Aziza, San Francisco
Bouchon, Wine Country
Californios, San Francisco
Chez TJ, South Bay
Commonwealth, San Francisco
Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant, Wine Country
Gary Danko, San Francisco
Keiko à Nob Hill, San Francisco
Kin Khao, San Francisco
Kusakabe, San Francisco
La Toque, Wine Country
Lazy Bear, San Francisco
Lord Stanley, San Francisco
Luce, San Francisco
Madrona Manor, Wine Country
Michael Mina, San Francisco
Mourad, San Francisco
Nico, San Francisco
Octavia, San Francisco
Omakase, San Francisco
Plumed Horse, South Bay
Rasa, Peninsula
Solbar Wine, Napa Valley
Sons & Daughters, San Francisco
SPQR, San Francisco
Spruce, San Francisco
State Bird Provisions, San Francisco
Sushi Yoshizumi, Peninsula
Terra, Wine Country
Terrapin Creek, Wine Country
The Village Pub, Peninsula
Wako, San Francisco
Wakuriya, Peninsula

This is the latest posting in my monthly series of LA-focused food articles for The Staff Canteen website.

LA Restaurant Review: Plant Food & Wine

Patio_ Photo credit EricaRaeBrown-2In Los Angeles vegan restaurants are a bit like fish and chip shops in London: there are a lot of them but really good ones are few and far between. They’re usually all about kale salad, raw juices and meat substitutes like tempeh, seitan or tofu. As a non-veggie, quite frankly, I’d rather eat the real thing so vegan dining hasn’t played a major part in my culinary outings here. Until now.

Plant Food & Wine is an innovative vegan restaurant, which recently opened in Venice Beach. It’s the new flagship from celebrity chef Matthew Kenney, a raw food guru who has been a James Beard Award nominee and runs a number of restaurants in the USA, as well as a raw food culinary academy with outlets in California, Florida and Thailand. The ethos at Plant Food & Wine is serving upscale vegan cuisine showcasing the best, seasonal produce from Southern California alongside a wine list of organic and biodynamic varietals.

Located at the far end of Abbot Kinney Boulevard, the “coolest block in the USA” according to GQ Magazine, the restaurant embodies a sense of calm, although its sleek interior, with white walls, reclaimed stone and wooden floors, is a little bit sterile. But what the interior lacks in soul, the exterior makes up for in the form of an expansive patio. Complete with herb garden, olive trees and string lights it is just about one the loveliest outdoor dining spaces I’ve seen in LA.

Open for lunch and dinner everyday and brunch on the weekends, the kitchen at Plant Food & Wine is headed up by Scott Winegard, whose team creates a market-driven menu that flows with the seasons. While a nine-course tasting menu is available at $75 a head, the main menu is divided into snacks, cheese, sharing plates, main courses and desserts. That said, all of it lends itself to sharing, so when I dined at Plant Food & Wine with two girlfriends, we ordered a bunch of different dishes for the table.

The first thing that came out from the snacks section was a mushroom pâté served with pickles, mustard and sour dough toast. Made from “any old mushrooms we have in the kitchen” according to Winegard, they’re blitzed in a high-speed blender along with walnuts and seasoning and then set with agar. The result is a firm yet smooth pâté with a seriously moreish earthy flavour.

ZuchiniCacioePepe_Panzanella_Tight_PFW_hisres_EricaRaeBrown_7.30.15-2Right now at the height of the California summer, tomatoes are at their very best – lusciously sweet and juicy – and at Plant Food & Wine they are served in a panzanella salad. Heirloom tomatoes are tossed with bread, torn shiso and basil leaves and a vinaigrette with a hint of horseradish. It’s a dish so simple yet so divine with the tomatoes so full of life, every mouthful reminds you why living in California is a food lover’s dream.

The same goes for avocados, which nowhere else in the world taste as good as in California. For years I paid a fortune for the perfectly ripe avocados from Waitrose but they were never perfect and very rarely ripe. Here they’re both: soft, buttery, nutty and so tasty they deserve an entire dish dedicated to them. Like at Plant Food & Wine, where a whole avocado is dressed with lemon vinaigrette and green tahini and served with watermelon radish, sprouts and dehydrated black olives. Again the innovation lies in the simplicity of the dish, which really helps to underline the beauty of the main ingredient.

Main courses were a little hit and miss. Grilled millet, cooked in a vegetable stock and served like a polenta cake with heirloom beans prepared in a smoky dashi, as well as summer squash, grilled baby bok choy and a roasted carrot tahini sauce divided the table. While I didn’t like the mouth feel of the millet and also thought it was a bit tasteless, my friend loved the texture and subtle umami of the dish.

Instead the highlight of the meal for me was Cacio e Pepe, a vegan take on the Roman pasta dish, consisting of raw zucchini and spicy greens tossed in a sauce made from sunflower cream with lashings of black
pepper and lemon, and topped with sprouts and a black olive crumb. It’s light and fresh, peppery and creamy and nobody needs dairy when it is served like this.

ChashewRaclette_Overhead_Tight_PFW_hires_EricaRaeBrown_7.30.15-2There is also a whole section of vegan cheeses at Plant Food & Wine, all made in-house. Cashew and macadamia nut cream is fermented with a probiotic for up to 48 hours and then flavoured with things like mixed herbs, white truffle or peppercorns and aged between 36 hours and three months depending on the variety. Cheese courses include cashew raclette, which is served hot in a small cast iron pan accompanied by bread
and a radish and parsley salad with lemon juice and zest.

Desserts are lovely too. Chocolate is aerated in a whipped cream dispenser and then frozen ensuing in a light, airy texture. It comes with a hazelnut brittle and is served on top of a strawberry sauce with sliced fresh strawberries. It’s a dainty, delicate dessert perfect for the health-conscious ladies who lunch on Abbot Kinney. A more robust dessert, meanwhile, is Plant Food & Wine’s version of a banana split. Ice cream is made from coconut and cashew cream with flavours of superfoods like chocolate mocha, strawberry goji, and vanilla hemp, and instead of fresh banana it is served with a dehydrated banana tuile, chocolate and strawberry sauces, candied pecans and coconut whipped cream.

Plant Food & Wine has raised the bar of vegan restaurants in Los Angeles. It epitomises what meatless dining should be all about, with the emphasis not on fake meat substitutes but on fresh, seasonal vegetables that are so full of flavour and energy they don’t need any kind of protein to be complete. While I’ll never give up eating meat, this restaurant has opened my eyes to a different way of dining and it is no less delicious or satisfying.

Plant Food & Wine
1009 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
+1 310 450 1009
Dinner for three, including wine, excluding service: $198

This is the latest posting in my monthly series of LA-focused food articles for The Staff Canteen website.

El Celler de Can Roca regains title of the World’s Best Restaurant

roca brothersSpanish restaurant El Celler de Can Roca has reclaimed its crown as the World’s Best Restaurant.

After winning the title in 2013 but losing out to Copenhagen’s Noma last year, El Celler de Can Roca, which is run by brothers Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca (pictured), has regained the number one spot in this year’s rankings of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, placed second this year, after two years occupying third place, which is now held by four-time winner Noma. In fourth position is Central in Lima, Peru, and the top five is completed by Eleven Madison Park in New York, whose chef Daniel Humm also won the Chefs’ Choice Award.

As the winner, the three-Michelin-starred El Celler de Can Roca in Girona is one of seven Spanish eateries included in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. The second highest placing is Mugaritz at number six.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is the UK’s highest ranking restaurant in seventh position, with Narisawa in Tokyo ranking as the top Asian restaurant in eighth place, and D.O.M. in Sao Paulo (ninth), and Gaggan in Bangkok (10th) completing this year’s top 10.

Newcomers to the World’s 50 Best Restaurants this year include White Rabbit in Moscow, which was named Highest New Entry in 23rd place, as well as Tickets in Barcelona, which debuted in 42nd place and is run by Ferran Adria’s brother Albert, who also won the World’s Best Pastry Chef award.

Other special awards included: Daniel Boulud picking up Lifetime Achievement; Helene Darroze winning Best Female Chef; and Relae in Copenhagen taking the Sustainable Restaurant Award.

The USA has six restaurants on the list overall and one new entry, with Eleven Madison Park claiming the Best Restaurant in North America title. Dan Barber’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns outside New York has made its first appearance on the list at number 49.

France meanwhile has five restaurants in the 50 Best with Mirazur remaining in 11th place for the second year running, followed by L’Arpege in Paris in 12th place.

South America now has nine restaurants on the list – with new entries including Boragó in Santiago, Chile; Maido in Lima, Peru; and Quintonil and Biko in Mexico City – and Asia has seven, including a new entry at number 24 in the form of Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet in Shanghai, China.

Africa’s only listed restaurant in the top 50 is the Test Kitchen in Cape Town, South Africa, in 28th place; while Australia’s sole restaurant is Ben Shewry’s Attica in Melbourne.

The results were announced at the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards, sponsored by S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, at London’s Guildhall today. Next year, for the first time in the 14-year history of the awards, the ceremony will take place in New York.

The top 10 of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants:
1 El Celler de Can Roca Girona, Spain
2 Osteria Francescana Modena, Italy
3 Noma Copenhagen, Denmark
4 Central, Lima, Peru
5 Eleven Madison Park New York, US
6 Mugaritz San Sebastián, Spain
7 Dinner by Heston Blumenthal London, UK
8 Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan
9 DOM São Paulo, Brazil
10 Gaggan, Bangkok, Thailand

See the full list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants here.

California welcomes two new three-Michelin-star restaurants

Michelin_SF_coverMichelin last week announced its new star selections for Northern California and in an unprecedented move elevated two restaurants to its coveted three-star-status.

Benu and Saison in San Francisco have risen from two to three stars in the 2015 guide to San Francisco Bay Area & Wine Country, making them the only restaurants in the city to achieve Michelin’s top accolade. They join Thomas Keller’s world-famous French Laundry and the Restaurant at Meadowood, both in Napa Valley, in California’s three-star echelons.

Benu, which opened in 2010, is run by chef Corey Lee, a Keller alumnus, who was praised by Michelin for his “incredibly precise culinary technique”. His cooking combines classic French techniques with American and Asian, particularly Korean, flavours. Stand out dishes include his 1000-year-old quail’s egg (pictured) with potage and ginger, while his tasting menus showcase ingredients such as eel, sea cucumber, sweet shrimps and mock shark fin.

Fellow new three-star Saison’s success story has seen the restaurant grow from a weekly pop-up at the back of a café in the Mission District to one of the USA’s most celebrated restaurants, which was named the One to Watch on this year’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Chef Joshua Skenes offers thrilling tasting menus of exquisite and meticulously sourced ingredients with a nod to both French and Japanese cuisines and a “mastery of the northern California culinary philosophy”.

Meanwhile Italian restaurant Acquerello was the only new addition to the two-star list, making its chef, Suzette Gresham (pictured), San Francisco’s second female chef with two stars after Dominique Crenn at Atelier Crenn. Michelin commended Gresham’s cooking for its “refined and elegant dishes of superb Italian cuisine with a unique contemporary touch”.

There were two new entrants in the one-star category: Kusakabe and Maruya, which are San Francisco’s first and only Michelin-starred starred sushi restaurants.

Interestingly chef David Kinch retained his two Michelin stars at Manresa, despite being forced to close his restaurant after a devastating fire in July. Manresa is set to reopen towards the end of the year. Chez Panisse, Alice Waters’ famous restaurant in Berkeley has still not regained the star it lost in the 2011 Michelin guide.

Northern California now has four three-Michelin-starred restaurants – the same as the UK – as well as six two-star and 30 one-star establishments. The 2015 San Francisco Bay Area & Wine Country guide lists a total of 474 restaurants featuring 46 different cuisines.

Commenting on the results, Michael Ellis, international director of the Michelin Guides, said: “With two new three-star restaurants recognised, this 2015 edition reflects Northern California’s remarkable gastronomic energy. The San Francisco Bay area is among the most exciting culinary scenes in the world. Californian chefs are mixing their exacting cooking techniques with superb local ingredients and culinary influences from all parts of the globe. The result is a rich, dynamic and unique dining scene.”


Curtis StoneLos Angeles, meanwhile, remains off Michelin’s radar after it famously axed its guide after just two years in 2009, with former director Jean-Luc Naret claiming that there was no real appreciation of food in the city.

It’s sad to see that Michelin’s lack of recognition of LA’s thriving food scene continues despite many of its chefs and restaurants – including Nancy Silverton, Alma, and Bestia – having won national plaudits.

A number of LA chefs have expressed dismay at Michelin’s absence, including
Josiah Citrin, whose restaurant Mélisse in Santa Monica, held two stars in the LA guide. He said: “I wish Michelin would come back; I don’t understand why they left. We had more one- and two-star restaurants than Chicago. Instead of just doing the Bay Area, they should do a California guide – it would make sense.”

Curtis Stone (pictured), chef proprietor of Maude in Beverly Hills, added that it’s “a real shame” that the guide is no longer in LA. “Michelin is brilliant in its consistency, which is why they have the credibility that a lot of the other guides lack,” he said.

“A lot of young chefs spend their lives revolving around that guide. For me working at the Oak Room when it had three stars was the pinnacle of my life at the time. Maybe we chefs get too caught up in it so perhaps it’s a good thing not to have the pressure of having Michelin here. But I’d really love it if they came back.”

Here’s the full list of starred restaurants in San Francisco Bay Area & Wine County for 2015:

Benu (new)
The French Laundry
The Restaurant at Meadowood
Saison (new)

Acquerello (new)
Atelier Crenn

All Spice
Auberge du Soleil
Campton Place
Chez TJ
Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant
Gary Danko
Keiko à Nob Hill
Kusakabe (new)
La Folie
La Toque
Madrona Manor
Maruya (new)
Michael Mina
Plumed Horse
Sons & Daughters
State Bird Provisions
Terrapin Creek
The Village Pub

This article was first published by The Staff Canteen as part of my monthly series on LA-related food stories.

Michelin awards 14 new stars in the UK

Michelin this morning released its 2015 guide to Great Britain Ireland and yet again failed to award its top accolade of three stars.

There were no new two stars either in the guide, which promoted 14 restaurants to one-star-status.

Among them were six restaurants in London, including much-celebrated newcomers Gymkhana, Simon Rogan’s Fera at Claridge’s, and Jason Atherton’s City Social. Other winners were Spanish restaurant Barrafina and James Knappett’s Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs in the West End, and the Clove Club in Shoreditch.

Across England, four restaurants celebrated their first stars, including two-star chef Nathan Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen in Port Isaac, Cornwall; Bocuse d’Or contestant Adam Bennett’s Cross at Kenilworth in Warwickshire; and Treby Arms in Sparkwell, Devon, while the Star Inn in Harome, Yorkshire, regained its star after losing it in 2011.

In Scotland the Three Chimneys and the House Over-by on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, where Great British Menu winner Michael Smith dons the whites, won its first star, as well as the Isle of Eriska on Argyll and Bute.

In Wales the Crown at Whitebrook and Ynyshir Hall both regained previously lost stars. There were no new stars in Ireland.

Among the deletions of stars were both Nobu and Nobu Berkeley Street, which lost their stars after having held them for 16 and eight years respectively.

There are now a total of 167 Michelin-starred establishments in Great Britain and Ireland, including four three-; 21 two-; and 142 one-star restaurants.

Next to the stars there 26 new Bib Gourmands, including nine  in London. The Bib Gourmand award recognises establishments offering good food at affordable price.


Barrafina, Soho
City Social, City of London
Clove Club, Shoreditch
Fera at Claridge’s, Mayfair
Gymkhana, Mayfair
Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs, Bloomsbury

The Cross at Kenilworth, Kenilworth, Warwickshire
Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen, Port Isaac, Cornwall
The Star Inn, Harome, Yorkshire
Treby Arms, Sparkwell, Devon

Isle of Eriska, Argyll and Bute
Three Chimneys and The House Over-by, Isle of Skye

Crown at Whitebrook, Monmouth/Whitebrook, Monmouthshire
Ynyshir Hall, Powys, Machynlleth


Apsleys, Belgravia (closed)
Bo London, Mayfair (closed)
Chapter One, Bromley
Medlar, Chelsea
Nobu, Mayfair
Nobu Berkeley Street, Mayfair
One Leicester Street (formerly St John Soho), (closed), Soho
Tom Aikens, Chelsea (closed)
Viajante, Bethnal Green (closed)

36 on the Quay, Emsworth, Hampshire
Danesfield House, Marlow
Holbeck Ghyll, Windermere

Glenapp Castle, Ballantrae
Inverlochy Castle, Fort William

View the full list of Michelin-starred restaurants in Great Britain & Ireland as well as the star history.

Michelin launches guide to Brazil

Michelin is set to launch a new guide to Brazil next year as the company continues to expand its portfolio of international restaurant and hotel guides.

The inaugural Michelin guide to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo will be published in March 2015 marking the French tyre group’s 25th international guide book and the first in South America.

In a statement Michelin said the guide will explore “Brazil’s subtle, diverse gastronomy, which is rooted in a rich culinary heritage based on a wide range of local products of outstanding quality”.

“We are especially delighted to launch this new edition, which is unmatched in the history of the Michelin guide,” said Michael Ellis, International Director, Michelin guides. “The Brazilian gourmet dining scene has been developing steadily in recent years, led by particularly creative chefs. The country has also become a very attractive destination for foreign chefs who are curious to discover products, traditions and cooking styles unlike any other in the world.”

Although the new guide will be too late for football fans visiting this year’s World Cup in Brazil, it will launch in time for the 2016 Summer Olympics taking place in Rio de Janeiro.

Michelin’s move to launch into South America comes after S. Pellegrino announced its inaugural Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list last September. Two Brazilian restaurants featured in the top five: Alex Atala’s D.O.M. and Helena Rizzo’s restaurant Maní, both in Sao Paulo. But whether they’ll make the elite list of three Michelin stars remains to be seen.



Massimo Bottura opens Ristorante Italia in Istanbul

Picture by Oliviero Toscani

Picture by Oliviero Toscani

Three-Michelin-starred chef Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana in Modena today opens his first restaurant outside of Italy: Ristorante Italia in the Turkish metropolis of Istanbul.

The new restaurant, located in the residential Besiktas neighbourhood on the top floor of Eataly, brings together traditional Italian flavours and contemporary cooking techniques.  Bottura has reworked 100 classic Italian recipes from across the country, recreating iconic Italian dishes such as Mozzarella in Carrozza, Spaghetti Cetarese, Bollito Misto and Tiramisu.

Ristorante Italia will not use top imported Italian products but also source many of its ingredients from Turkey and take advantage of Eataly’s in-house dairy production.

Interiors of the restaurant feature lighting by Davide Groppi, leather upholstered chairs by Poltrona Frau and lounge furniture from Bottega Veneta’s exclusive home collection. To complete the Italian experience, an outdoor cocktail and gelato bar is found on the landscaped dining terrace with furniture and carpeting by designer Paola Lenti. Overlooking the Zorlu center gardens, the terrace looks back to the walk-in cellar and dining room, its walls adorned with a selection of contemporary art curated by Massimo Bottura.

Ristorante Italia di Massimo Bottura
EATALY Istanbul
Zorlu Center
Levazým Mahellesi Koru Sokak no.2
34340 Istanbul
Tel: +90 212 336 66 66