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The restaurants distinguished in the Michelin Spain and Portugal Guide 2023 will be revealed tomorrow night, at a ceremony in the Spanish city of Toledo, which the organisation promises will be “historic” for Portuguese gastronomy.

Portugal currently has seven restaurants with two Michelin stars and 26 with one star. In the 2022 edition, Portugal won the first star for five restaurants – Al Sud (Lagos), A Ver Tavira (Tavira), Cura (Lisbon), Esporão (Reguengos de Monsaraz) and Vila Foz (Porto) – and kept all previous distinctions.

The Iberian guide continued not to recognise any Portuguese restaurant with the maximum rating (three stars, “a unique cuisine, justifies the trip”), which was awarded to 11 establishments in Spain (Akelarre, Arzak, Quique Dacosta, DiverXO, ABaC, Martín Berasategui, El Celler de Can Roca, Lasarte, Azurmendi, Aponiente and Cenador de Amos).

A source from the Michelin Guide told Lusa that this will be “a historic year” for Portugal. The publication’s organisation told Spanish news agency EFE that, in the 2023 edition, there will be “many stars, which shows that the year was very good”. The stars, he said, will be “widely distributed, both in large cities and smaller towns” in the two countries.

“There is an increase in talent, spread all over Spain and Portugal”, said the same source, highlighting the strength of young people, who are betting on “both new concepts and renewed traditional proposals”, and showing “courage” with the opening of “innovative and quality” restaurants.

During the ceremony, the ‘green stars’ will again be handed out, for the third year, an initiative of the Michelin Guide to recognise the commitment to sustainability. In this year’s edition the Portuguese restaurants Il Galo d’Oro (Funchal, two Michelin stars) and Esporão (Reguengos de Monsaraz, one star) were awarded.

In total, 29 establishments in the Iberian Peninsula have received a ‘green star’. According to the Michelin Guide, the inspectors have already noted that the commitment to the environment is “incorporated as something necessary in all new openings, which already have measures thought out in this regard”.

The awards that distinguish a ‘chef’ mentor and a young chef, launched in the previous edition, will be given out again, and this year there will be something new: an award that highlights the work of the room to highlight the “importance of a team” to achieve a perfect gastronomic experience, recently announced the head of the guide’s inspectors, José Vallés.

To award stars to restaurants, the inspectors, who work anonymously, value the quality of the products, the mastery of cooking points and textures, the balance and harmony of flavours, the personality of the cuisine and regularity.

After a gala in digital format (2020) and another without public (2021), due to the restrictions to control the covid-19 pandemic, Tuesday’s ceremony will be “of celebration”, said the same sources.

Toledo was this year the city chosen to host the presentation gala, with about 700 guests and that will take place at the Palacio de Congresos El Greco de Toledo. After the gala, a meal will be served, which will highlight the products of the Castilla-A Mancha region, coordinated by the chefs of two local restaurants, both with two stars: Ivan Cerdeño (Iván Cerdeño restaurant) and Fran Martínez (Maralba).

The Michelin Spain and Portugal Guide 2022 includes 1,362 restaurants in Spain, Portugal and Andorra, including 11 with three stars, 40 with two stars, 211 with one, 29 with the ‘green star’ and 284 Bib Gourmand (good value for money), as well as 816 recommended for the quality of their cuisine. Created at the beginning of the 20th century to help travellers on their journeys, the Michelin Guide is today considered a world reference in restaurant classification, with Portugal joining the route in 1910.

Source: The Portugal News

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