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Jun 13, 2023 / 16:44

Michelin Guide unveils the riches of Vietnamese cuisine: RMIT experts

The Michelin Guide would positively impact the country's tourism as the culinary landscape evolves and establishments diligently preserve the authenticity of traditional Vietnamese cuisine.

Vietnam's culinary scene has undergone a remarkable renaissance in recent years, as evidenced by the growing number of Vietnamese restaurants around the world and, most recently, the country's first Michelin-starred restaurants, according to RMIT experts.

 Dr. Pham Huong Trang (L) and Dr. Jackie Ong (R). Photo: RMIT

RMIT University Vietnam academic Dr. Pham Huong Trang said this global recognition has not only elevated Vietnamese cuisine to new heights but also introduced international flavors and techniques to the local culinary landscape. 

“Amidst this culinary transformation, one aspect remains constant – the unwavering focus on preserving and celebrating the local touch that defines Vietnam's rich culinary heritage. At the heart of Vietnam's culinary renaissance lies the elevation of local ingredients,” said Dr. Trang, who has over 15 years of experience in higher education teaching and consultancy in tourism and business management.

She elaborated that Michelin-starred restaurants have embraced the abundance of Vietnam's fertile lands, sourcing their ingredients directly from local farmers and markets. This emphasis on local produce ensures freshness, promotes sustainable farming practices, and showcases the unique flavors and textures that define Vietnamese cuisine. 

“From fragrant herbs and aromatic spices to exotic fruits and vegetables, these restaurants celebrate the essence of Vietnamese gastronomy,” she said.

Thriving Southeast Asian destinations: A journey with the Michelin Guide

 Hanoi-based Gia is recognized with one Michelin star for their high-quality cooking. Photo: Gia

Dr. Trang noted that the Michelin Guide has had a significant impact on various Asian destinations, raising their culinary status and attracting international tourists. Countries like Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia have experienced impressive transformations in their food scenes, with street food vendors and local eateries gaining recognition and acclaim.

Vietnam's culinary potential on the world map

Hanoi-based Tam Vi is labelled one Michelin star for their high-quality cooking. Photo: Tam Vi

Dr. Trang believes that the long-awaited arrival of the Michelin Guide in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City “has firmly established Vietnam as a premier culinary destination”.  

She said even before that, Vietnamese cuisine had consistently earned high rankings on global food lists, with its desserts and street food often celebrated. CNN Traveler has dubbed Ho Chi Minh City the "culinary capital of Vietnam," while The Telegraph has recognized Hanoi as one of the world's cities with the most enticing street food.

"Vietnamese street food embodies a harmonious fusion of flavor, affordability, and the authentic stories behind local vendors. The Michelin Guide's presence in Vietnam is expected to spotlight the country's culinary diversity and bolster its emergence as an irresistible gastronomic destination,” she stated.

To realize such a future, RMIT Vietnam's Senior Program Manager of Tourism and Hospitality Management Dr. Jackie Ong advocates for a strong local touch in Michelin-starred restaurants across Vietnam. She opines that the Michelin Guide would have a positive impact on the country's tourism as the culinary landscape evolves and establishments diligently preserve the authenticity of traditional Vietnamese cuisine.

“From bustling street food stalls to sophisticated fine-dining venues, chefs strive to showcase the breadth of Vietnam's culinary traditions and highlight local ingredients. By infusing these authentic flavors with creativity and innovation, these restaurants offer a dining experience that appeals to locals and international food lovers," she said. 

Guided by the Michelin Guide's inspectors, these establishments maintain standards of excellence while remaining true to the essence of Vietnamese gastronomy.