Tire company-turned prestigious restaurant guidebook purveyor Michelin just dropped its 2017 edition for France, and it’s a record-setter: The country now has 616 restaurants that hold at least one Michelin star, thanks to the 57 brand-new entries christened this year.
Only one new restaurant, Cheval Blanc, made the vaulted leap into the three-star category for 2017 — its chef Yannick Alleno already holds three Michelin stars for his Paris restaurant Pavillon Ledoyen, placing him in the esteemed group of “Six Star Chefs” — company that includes French gastronomic heavyweights like Alain Ducasse and Eugenie Brazier. Cheval Blanc, inside the five-star hotel of the same name, is located in the French Alps and “welcomes a limited number of guests per night to orchestrate a full culinary immersion.” (Per Getty, menu prices range from 127 to 450 euros, before wine.)
Among the 12 restaurants who received upgrades into the two-star category were Le Pressoir d'Argent-Gordon Ramsay, located in Bordeaux, and three restaurants in Paris: Kei (a Japanese-meets-French concept headed by a Ducasse acolyte), La Table de l’Espadon (located inside the Paris Ritz), and Le Clarence (where chef Christophe Pelé' cooks French classics). Last year’s Michelin guide to France, by comparison, saw much more drama in the two-star tier, with several big-name chefs, including Joël Robuchon and Gordon Ramsay, getting demoted to one star.
Meanwhile, according to news network franceinfo, just one woman entered the Michelin list for the first time this year: Burgundy chef Fanny Rey, whose restaurant Auberge la Reine Jeanne earned one star.
Michelin’s announcements are always a topic of contention and conversation in culinary communities; but given its French provenance, there are few places in the world where the stars are more hotly contested. Earlier this year, Michelin released its 2017 Bib Gourmand distinctions for France, celebrating noteworthy restaurants where prix-fixe menus can be had for 32 to 36 euros or less.
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