Indications that Michelin was approaching Latvia were first seen a year and a half ago, when two Estonian restaurants – Noah Chef's Hall and 180 Degrees by Matthias Diether – received the first Michelin stars in the Baltic States. Meanwhile, Michelin has yet to enter Lithuania.
On Tuesday September 26, Michelin came forward with a press release, and Inese Šīrava, director of the Latvian Investment and Development Agency (LIAA) Tourism Department, also confirmed that talks with Michelin began last year and Michelin nominations will be received by Latvian restaurants in a special ceremony already this year, November 21.
"The cooperation agreement with the Michelin Guide is for a period of three years. The big benefit for Latvia is the international reputation and dissemination of information to the audience, which follows Michelin. We see this as an advertising campaign for Latvia's tourism industry and especially for the restaurant industry," Šīrava said.
The mention of Līgatne in the press release likely meant Michelin inspectors had been in the “House of cooks” (Pavāru māja) run by Ēriks Dreibants. The chef himself confirmed to Latvian Radio that the arrival of “Michelin” in Latvia is a joyous and long-awaited event in the sector:
"It immediately draws more attention to the region. There are many tourists-gourmets, one of them is me. The Michelin rating gives me a frame: it won't be an experiment, money thrown in the wind.”
On the Michelin scale, a one-star rating means, “a very good restaurant,” two stars signify “excellent cooking that is worth a detour,” and a three-star restaurant is one that offers “exceptional cuisine that is worth a special journey.”