A record of 28 French restaurants awarded 3 Michelin stars
BOULOGNE-BILLANCOURT, France – A record number of 28 French restaurants on Monday received the most coveted award in the gastronomic world: a three-star rating in the Michelin Red Guide.
The unveiling of the industry’s best-kept secret near Paris came amid much fanfare for French cuisine – but also amid criticism that the elite indexing system needs to be redesigned after a Grand Chief has withdrawn from the list citing the “enormous pressure” and the scrutiny it attracts. .
The two newcomers to the three-star club are Christophe Bacquie at the HÃ´tel du Castellet and La Maison des Bois by Marc Veyrat, both in the south of France. They consolidate France’s place as the leading catering hub with the largest number of top-rated restaurants in the world.
“It was a great year for gastronomy … a huge victory for the French team,” said Michael Ellis, director of the Michelin Guides.
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe attended an event at the Seine Musicale convention center after the ceremony, highlighting the importance of the book known as the food bible for France’s national identity.
Michelin France is considered the most prestigious of the 31 global editions of the publication by the gastronomic establishment.
But although the guide is renowned for making chefs fortunes, he is also famous for breaking them with his system of rating the best restaurants with one to three stars.
Michelin has defended itself against persistent claims that its stars reward pomp and presentation instead of food and that it subjects its winners to an unbearable scrutiny.
One of the winners – Veyrat – doesn’t seem to care.
“We need the pressure and the adrenaline rush because we’re creative. We love creativity and we’re a little bit crazy,” he told The Associated Press.
Last week, Michelin’s reputation was tarnished when the three-star restaurant Le Suquet was withdrawn at the request of its owner, SÃ©bastien Bras, who complained of an inhuman level of stress associated with the distinction, such as the possibility for anonymous experts to eat a meal unexpectedly at any given time. Bras’s decision sparked many questions in the media about the usefulness of the index.
This is not the first time that Michelin’s rating system has been criticized.
In 2005, after 28 years, Alain Senderens transformed his three-star restaurant, Lucas Carton, into a humble brasserie, claiming he had had enough of the “insane race” of the rankings.
Two years earlier, the owner of the famous CÃ´te d’Or restaurant in Burgundy, Bernard Loiseau, had been shot and killed after receiving a lower rating in the GaultMillau guide amid rumors he could lose his third Michelin star.
France’s seriousness in eating well is a legend. One of France’s most famous chefs in the 17th century, FranÃ§ois Vatel, committed suicide because the day’s delivery of fresh fish did not arrive on time at a banquet he was preparing in honor of King Louis XIV.
Of the 28 three-star Michelin restaurants, only one is run by a woman: Anne-Sophie Pic, who officiated at the Michelin ceremony on Monday.
She expressed optimism about the treatment of women in the famous male-dominated culinary world.
“I believe that women chefs are coming. (…) They are already present in restaurants, and the teams are mixed. Women chefs are very active and present in gastronomy,” said Pic.
“Having said that,” she added hesitantly, “maybe we need a little more time for them to be recognized and to find their (right) place.”
2018 Michelin Guide France press release by Monica Burton on Scribd