OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) — For the first time, California’s 2023 Michelin Guide ceremony was hosted in Oakland at none other than the Chabot Space and Science Center.
These are the most prestigious awards for the restaurant industry and many Bay Area chefs took home top honors Tuesday night.
“Having Michelin choose Oakland as a place to debut their California guide is so special, it really also solidifies our culinary excellence in the country, in the world,” Peter Gamez, CEO of Visit Oakland said. “People will travel from all over the world to come to Oakland just to eat!”
This year’s Michelin Guide is promoting six new one-Michelin-star restaurants and four new green star restaurants for sustainability.
This makes California now home to 15 of the 17 green-starred restaurants in North America.
“Right now, because we’ve all gone through such a hard few years and especially in hospitality, it’s been difficult, and so it’s great to have someone celebrate the fact that a lot of us are still here,” Pim Techamuanvivit, owner of Kin Khao and Nari said.
Techamuanvivit owns two Thai restaurants in San Francisco.
The first, Kin Khao, located inside of the Parc 55 hotel, retained its one-Michelin star.
And Tuesday night, her second restaurant Nari, which opened seven months before the pandemic, got its first Michelin star.
“I didn’t cook to get a Michelin star, I don’t know that that’s a healthy kind of approach,” she said. “For me it’s, I cook because I want to. I love it and I love feeding people great food.”
San Francisco’s Aphotic and Calistoga’s Auro also received one Michelin star each Tuesday night.
And Oakland’s own James Syhabout, chef and owner of Commis, retained his prestigious two-Michelin stars.
“To have your efforts be noticed on a global scale, it’s such an accomplishment, not just for any individual personally but for the establishment, for the team, it takes a village,” Syhabout said.
All restaurants taking home star honors have been vetted by Michelin’s anonymous inspectors, who follow specific assessment criteria, including things like using quality products, personality of the chef in the cuisine and consistency of food.
“it’s kind of assurance we were on the right track, that we’re doing something correct right, it felt good, it’s also a good motivational tool for the team to get better, something to materialize all of our hard work and our efforts,” Syhabout said.
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