Two new three star restaurants in the Michelin Guide France 2019

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 22nd January 2019

The Michelin Guide 2019 addresses gender imbalance, lack of diversity but ignores Sébastian Bras' request to renounce his stars

Yesterday’s awards ceremony celebrating French restaurants was rich in surprises, bestowing a record-breaking 75 stars, stripping three restaurants of their hard-fought honours, and introducing new categories for restaurant managers, sommeliers and sustainable chefs.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the year, though, was the decision to include Bras on the list, giving it two Michelin stars, despite owner and chef Sébastian Bras’ decision to withdraw from the guide in 2017. 

The guide, in numbers 

Clos des Cimes owner and chef Régis Marcon launched the celebrations with an emotive speech honouring Joël Robuchon, calling him a “great master.”

The industry, he said, has evolved to offer great prospects for young people, and its wealth should be passed down to younger generations.  

 “Our profession isn’t an ordinary one,” he said.

“It is one of passion. We are merchants of joy.”

Sixty eight restaurants received their first stars, while a further five gained a second.

Clos des Sens in Annecy was given its third star, with owner and founder Laurent Petit at the helm, and Argentinian chef Mauro Colagreco became the only foreign chef in the country to receive the honourable reward for the Mirazur in Menton. It is worth noting that there are only 127 three Michelin-starred restaurants in the world, though 27 of them are located in France.

The guide introduced two new categories to honour the industry’s unsung heroes, received by restaurant manager Sarah Benahmed and sommelier Albert Malongo Ngimbi. It also payed tribute to 30 pastry chefs, and to Christopher Coutanceau, whose restaurant in La Rochelle was said to be a model of sustainability. 

While new recipients celebrated their place in the guide, Le Restaurant de l’Ile chef, Marc Haeberlin, who trained under Robuchon several decades ago, was heartbroken to discover that the restaurant had been stripped of its third star after holding it for 51 years.

Pascal Barbot’s Astrance, in Paris suffered the same fate, as did Marc Veyrat’s Maison des Bois. The Haute-Savoie restaurant was the first to lose its place in the guide so quickly, having only received its third star in last year’s guide.

Embracing change

This year’s list is a much called-for shift from tradition. It has come under increased criticism in recent years, with claims that its judges favour classical French and Japanese cuisine over more modern techniques, and that women and young chefs remain largely absent from the guide’s pages.

It is often compared to the World’s Top 50 Restaurants list, an initiative co-founded in 2002 by food writer and restaurant critic Joe Warwick, which, by comparison, has placed many innovative venues on a pedestal.

When he replaced Michael Ellis in September last year, the Michelin Guide’s new director, Gwendal Poullenec, promised to collate a more modern, diverse selection, and indeed, more women and young chefs have been included in this year’s edition than ever before.

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Comment exprimer autant d'émotion et gratitude ! Gratitude vers mon équipe pour son dévouement, gratitude vers ma famille, leurs sacrifices et leur soutien, gratitude vers nos clients qui depuis douze ans nous font confiance, vers le guide Michelin qui a su toujours reconnaitre notre travail, gratitude vers la France, pays que j'ai choisi pour m'exprimer et qui m'a adopté, en me transmettant ses valeurs "Liberté, Egalité Fraternité". How could I express such overwhelming, emotion and gratitude! Gratitude towards my team for its dedication, gratitude towards my family, for their sacrifices and efforts; gratitude towards our guests constant support during these 12 years, gratitude towards Michelin guide that has always recognized our work; gratitude towards France, a country I chose to express myself, a country that adopted me, transmitting me its values: “Liberty, Equality,Fraternity”. Mauro Colagreco

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 22nd January 2019

Two new three star restaurants in the Michelin Guide France 2019