Putting Lebanese Cuisine on the Michelin Star Map as a Priority

Putting Lebanese Cuisine on the Michelin Star Map as a Priority

Jocelyne Elia – from television to the world of food and tourism.

Lebanese journalist Jocelyne Elia didn’t expect to be pulled into the world of tourism and food journalism when she left in 1994 to go live in London. According to Jocelyne who works for Asharq Al-Awsat in London, she made the change to print journalism after presenting news bulletins and programs in Beirut, London and Qatar.

Jocelyne loved to write and disliked the idea that a news presenter was simply someone who read something that had been prepared for her by someone else. When she became the managing editor of the food and tourism section of London based newspaper Asharq Al-Aswat, she became one of the few Arab journalists who specialized in travel writing, restaurant reviews and writing about the history of food from around the world.

In 2012, Asharq Al Aswat won the award for best Arab Tourism section at The Arab Centre for Tourism Media awards. Today Jocelyn’s work is considered to be one of the most influential sections of the world’s first international Arab newspaper.

Jocelyne faced difficulties at the beginning of her writing career. She believes that when she began, many people in the Arab world were simply not ready for the kind of content that she was publishing. She struggled to convince readers of the importance of the issues that she covered, which she believes can be just as important as political issues. Today, political news is available almost instantaneously online, so many of the readers of the paper are looking for high quality analysis and non-political articles.

Jocelyne’s passion for tourism and food journalism grew when she was still studying journalism at the Lebanese University, Faculty of Information in Beirut.

She says that she wouldn’t be able to choose her favorite, describing them as her two children, which she loves and cares for equally.

Michelin Stars for Lebanese Restaurants

When the last Michelin Guide for restaurants was published, Jocelyne noticed that although Lebanese restaurants were mentioned, the good restaurants were yet to be given the recognition that they deserved. This is despite the quality of their preparation, the excellent presentation and the remarkable popularity of Lebanese cuisine across the world.

For this reason, Jocelyne is personally following the subject and has contacted the Michelin Guide in an attempt to give Lebanese restaurants around the world the recognition they deserve and award them with Michelin Stars.

According to Jocelyne, Michelin Guide editors explain that no Lebanese, Middle Eastern or North African restaurant has been awarded a Michelin Star due to the confusion about how restaurants are classified. She remembers one Michelin Guide employee telling her that Middle Eastern and North African restaurants are like a maze; if a critic who works for the Michelin Guide is not completely sure of what they are doing, they may cause a political problem because there are differences in the classification of Arab and North African restaurants in general, and some protest if a cuisine is labelled Lebanese because it may be Syrian.

However, this does not deter Jocelyne from trying to put Lebanese cuisine on the road to stardom once again.

TAGSacademicians advertorials ambassadors artists arts Beirut believers bio-friendly breakfast Bright Lebanon Byblos chateaus Chouf citizen journalism communication conceptual magazine contributing writers corporate social responsibility cuisine cultural attaches décor Design directory door to door dreamers editorials embracing platform empower Expat in Lebanon exploration food journalism giving back global community global Lebanon graphic design guest writers healthy living heartwarming stories HOME HOME around the world HOME decoration HOME Magazine HOME nation Honorary advisors hope hope of tomorrow influence inforgrahics initiatives inspirational integration interior design international distribution interviews journey kitchen Lebanese bloggers Lebanese cuisine Lebanese culture Lebanese Designers Lebanese Diaspora Lebanese food Lebanese food bloggers Lebanese heritage Lebanese hidden talents Lebanese home designer Lebanese market Lebanese municipality under the light Lebanese of the world Lebanese print magazine Lebanese recipes Lebanese restaurants Lebanese social impact Lebanese summer houses Lebanese terroir Lebanese traditional food/cuisine Lebanon lifestyle love for home country meals media award meet michelin star Michelin Stars ministers multiplatform North Lebanon online engagement organic organic food out of the box outreach peace peace building philosophy photographers PiDRAYA pioneers positive change positive content positivity publishing sector reader corner recipes reference content references refined magazine remarkable achievers remarkable organizations revolutionary content salad seasonal food social magazine soul of Lebanon South Lebanon stakeholders style success stories tales of today testimonials thoughts timeless Tourism Media awards trendsetter turkey Tyre unites vegetables vineyard where Lebanon comes together wine wine cellars wine critiques wine makers wine personality wine tasting