At his Paris restaurant “Oka,” Brazilian-born chef Raphael Rego combines a French culinary heritage with products he imports from the Amazon. His is the first restaurant offering Brazilian cuisine to be awarded a Michelin star outside of Brazil.
A pair of his father’s old tandoor ovens helped Hong Kong restaurateur Asim Hussain achieve a dream — the world’s first Michelin star for a Pakistani restaurant, an accolade he hopes will fire interest in the country’s often overlooked cuisine. Like many of Hong Kong’s 85,000 strong South Asian population, Hussein’s family trace their lineage in the bustling financial hub back generations, when the city was a British colonial outpost.
When Lebanese chef Alan Geaam first arrived in Paris two decades ago he found himself sleeping on the streets, lost and penniless with hardly a word of French. This week Geaam, who began his career as a dishwasher while he was sleeping rough in a Paris park, received his first Michelin star from the French gastronomic bible for his acclaimed new restaurant within a stone’s throw of the Arc de Triomphe.
From streetside stalls dishing out one dollar bowls of braised pork rice to upscale eateries tucked away in quiet alleyways, Michelin inspectors are scouring the Taiwanese capital selecting restaurants for its first ever guide. The island’s reputation among in-the-know travellers as a foodie paradise will be further burnished when Taipei becomes the latest Asian city to have its own Michelin guide in the first quarter of 2018.