Italy’s restaurants rack up Michelin stars

Italy's restaurants rack up Michelin stars
Italy now boasts 332 restaurants with Michelin stars. Chef photo: Shutterstock
Michelin has awarded 29 more Italian restaurants its prestigious star rating, as the guidebook director praised Italy for being "one of the most dynamic gastronomic destinations in the world."

Twenty-seven restaurants in Italy were awarded one star, while there were two new entries at the two-star level in the 2015 Michelin dining guide.

Overall Italy now boasts 332 restaurants with the mark of excellence; 285 with one star, 39 with two and eight with three stars.

Presenting the new guide in Milan on Tuesday, international director Michael Ellis praised Italy’s dining culture.

“We can’t make up the stars; Italy remains one of the most dynamic gastronomic destinations in the world,” he was quoted in Il Secolo XIX as saying.

One of the new two-starred restaurants is Tuscany’s Piccolo Principe di Viareggio, led by 34-year-old chef Giuseppe Mancino.

With “creativity, refinement, technique and excellent presentation,” he creates dishes which, according to Michelin, coexist like a “symphony orchestra”.

Tavernia Estia di Brusciano, close to Naples, was also awarded two stars thanks to the skills of chef Francesco Sposito and his father Armando.

Together they “have a great capacity for reinventing the subtle elements of the land,” the Michelin guide says.

Milan’s Lombardy region has 58 Michelin-starred restaurants, more than any other part of the country. Piedmont comes in second place with 39 restaurants, followed by the southern Campania region where 35 restaurants are Michelin-starred.

While Italy’s “dynamic” dining is winning international praise, the country’s more traditional foods have also won recognition this week.

The European Commission on Tuesday gave two food products from Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region protected status. Both Salama da sugo, a type of sausage meat, and the Piadina Romagnola flour wrap were given PGI (protected geographical indication) status.

Overall Italy has 268 foodstuffs which have been awarded special status by the EU, in recognition of quality products tied to a particular area.

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