A total of 275 restaurants (183 restaurants and 92 POP venues) were selected in the 2019 local edition of the Gault&Millau restaurant guide, recently launched. The restaurants are located in 15 cities, and 154 venues are novelties compared to the 2018 edition.
At the same time, chef Alexandru Dumitru, working at the Bistro Ateneu restaurant in Bucharest, received the Chef of the Year title from the publication, having gathered a total of 15.5 points and 3 chef hats, the maximum score in the guide’s local edition.
Four restaurants in the country received a score of 15 points and 3 chef hats. They are: Baracca (in Cluj-Napoca), Fragment (Cluj-Napoca), KAIAMO (Bucharest) and the ARTIST (Bucharest).
The publication granted awards in eight other categories, including the Woman Chef of the Year, Regional Chefs of the Year, Great Chefs of Tomorrow, or the Pastry Chef of the Year.
In the Great Chefs of Tomorrow category the winners were Andrei Chelaru, working at Fragment, with 15 points and 3 chef hats; Radu C.M. Ionescu, working at Kaiamo, with 15 points and 3 chef hats; and Roland Suciu, working at Baracca, also with 15 points and 3 chef hats.
Oana Irina Coantă with Bistro de l'Arte was named the Woman Chef of the Year, having received 12.5 points and 1 chef hat.
The Regional Chefs of the Year were Anne Marie Rosenberg of Clos de Colombes (in Dobrogea region), with 12 points and 1 chef hat; Claudia Băcăuanu of Toujours (Moldavia), with 12 points and 1 chef hat; Paul Oppenkamp of the ARTIST (Muntenia), with 15 points and 3 chef hats; and Roland Szegedi of Cabinet de Vin & Cocotte (Transylvania), with 13 points and 2 chef hats,
In the Terroir category, the winner was Ioan Bebeșelea of Syndicat Gourmet, with 12.5 points and 1 chef hat.
Ana Consulea of Zexe Braserie was named the Pastry Chef of the Year and received 11 points and 1 chef hat.
The Service of the Year award went to the team at Baracca, while the POP Trophies went to Mésange Fromagerie, Papila, and Pizza Mania.
Furthermore, Ivan Patzaichin Mila 23 Association; My Transylvania Association, Transilvania Gastronomică – Food Culture Festival; and Gastro Art received the Culinary Advocacy awards.
The venues included in the guide were evaluated by a team of 17 people, 15 from Romania (both locals and expats) and two from abroad.
Grading is done on a scale from 0 to 20. Only restaurants receiving a minimum of 10 following the evaluation are included. Besides points, the restaurants also receive chef hats as follows: restaurants with grades between 11 and 12.5 receive one hat; those with grades between 13 and 14.5 - 2 hats; those with grades between 15 and 16.5 - 3 hats; those with grades between 17 and 18.5 - 4 hats; and restaurants with grades between 19 and 19.5 - 5 hats. Restaurants with grades between 10 and 11 do not receive hats.
The menu weighs the most (70%) in the assessment of the restaurant, while the service, atmosphere, design, and price-quality ratio make up the remaining 30%. When looking at the menu, evaluators take into account the chef’s vision, the creativity of the menu, its seasonality, the techniques used, the quality of the ingredients and the use of local ingredients.
(Photo courtesy of Gault&Millau)