It's official. The Michelin Guide, in collaboration with the Tourism Authority of Thailand, will launch The Michelin Guide Bangkok, the gastronomic and hotel reference book that will be selecting starred-worthy restaurants and hotels in Bangkok, in the hope of promoting the country's tourism and outstanding gastronomic scene.
At the press conference at Phayathai Palace on 21 April, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, the minister of Tourism and Sport, announces that the Bangkok's edition of Michelin Guide will be the cornerstone to boost Thai tourism and Thailand's food culture, increase the number of quality — and food-passionate — travelers, which hopefully will result in the boost of the overall economy of the country. The government has approved the budget of US$4.1 million for the Tourism Authority of Thailand for the 5-year contract with the Michelin Guide, wishing to introduce the country's food scene to the world market.
Launching the first edition by the end of 2017, The Michelin Guide makes Thailand the 29th country in the world and the sixth in Asia to be featured. The star rating will be given by anonymous and independent inspectors following five criteria: (1) quality of ingredients (2) mastery of cooking method (3) chef personality (4) value for money and, (5) consistency. The first year will focus on Bangkok, with the expansion to other major cities later next years.
Some anonymous Thai-food experts will also be included in this Thailand's first edition as an inspector panel who will handpick star-worthy restaurants, from top-end establishments to street hawkers, committed to pulling out the authentic Thai tastes.
With the on-going controversial issue of the governmental ban on street food, TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn believes that the arrival of Michelin Guide will partly solve the problem regarding the hygiene and standard of street food vendors, and sustainably enhance the quality of Thai street food culture.