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 Japan battles France for Michelin's best restaurants

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Join date : 2010-10-17
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PostSubject: Japan battles France for Michelin's best restaurants    Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:47 pm

Five more restaurants in Japan gain three Michelin stars today as the French guide gives top billing to two establishments in Kobe, one in Kyoto and two in Osaka.

The winners are Ca Sento and Komago in Kobe, Nakamura in Kyoto, and Kashiwaya and Taian in Osaka.

That brings the total for the cities to 12. Another 44 restaurants and two ryokans (or inns) win two stars as Michelin adds Kobe to the guide for the first time.

Japan is challenging France in terms of three-star restaurants. Factor in the 11 such awards in Tokyo last year and the current total for Japan is 23, compared with 26 in France. The next Tokyo guide is scheduled for November 24, and the addition of the cities of Yokohama and Kamakura suggests further gains.

‘‘It’s always difficult to compare countries in terms of gastronomy and I’m not even going to go there,’’ Jean-Luc Naret, director of the Michelin guides, said last night in a telephone interview from Tokyo. ‘‘But in Japan, the quality and consistency of the produce is absolutely incredible. And the chefs transmit their skills from one generation to the next.

‘‘Some of the restaurants are centuries old and in others there are younger chefs who are using the skills they have inherited to try something new,’’ he said. ‘‘To anyone who questioned that Japan could be that good, I’d say just take a plane and come experience these restaurants. They deserve to be recognised."
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