Taipei-The Michelin Guide, the bible of global fine cuisine, will for the first time include Taichung next year, so that both the central Taiwan city and Taipei will be featured in the same book, a representative of the publication said Thursday.
Over the past two years, the guide has discovered that there are many cities with gourmet potential in Taiwan aside form Taipei, said Nicolas Achard, managing director of Michelin Food and Beverage Asia.
"With the bigger scope of the 2020 Michelin Guide and Selections, we look forward to showing the world the beauty of Taiwanese food," he said, adding that the bilingual Mandarin and English guide will hit store shelves in the second quarter.
The reason for choosing Taichung is because the city -- the second- largest in Taiwan -- has made rapid progress and its food service industry is booming, according to Achard.
There is great potential for the city's food culture to be demonstrated, he said, adding that his team is confident that the guide will include Taichung every year from now on.
The creativity of Taichung's food and beverage culture might be the most inspiring in Taiwan and is popular with both locals and foreign nationals, Achard said.
For instance, the famous Fengjia Night Market has about 1,800 food stalls and shops, creating an output value close to NT$10 billion (US$328 million) per year, he said.
The guide's evaluations will be carried out by both local and international inspectors, he added.
The guide will follow the standard star system used by Michelin -- one, two and three stars -- representing very good cooking, excellent cooking worth a detour and exceptional cuisine worth a journey, respectively.
The criteria used for evaluation includes quality of ingredients and their preparation, mastery of flavor and cooking techniques, the personality of the chef as reflected in his or her cuisine, consistency between visits and value for money.
Transportation Minister Lin Chia-lung (???) said the expanded guide will help Taiwan better promote its tourism and he expressed hope that it will cover more of the country's cities in the future.
The Michelin Guide Taipei was first published in Taiwan in 2017, making the capital the 30th city, region or country to be covered.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel