French food celebrated in the Michelin Guide

French food celebrated in the Michelin Guide

French food celebrated in the Michelin Guide

The Michelin Guide launched its 2022 edition on March 22, celebrating an increasingly green and diverse French food scene, as well as its resilience as it emerges from two difficult years of pandemic.

Expected each year with apprehension by chefs and gourmets, the famous red book revealed this year’s winners in Cognac in southwest France, the first time in its 122 years the ceremony has taken place outside Paris.

Two restaurants were awarded the highest distinction of three stars.

Arnaud Donckele, 44, known for his extraordinary sauces, shot straight to the top ranking for his new restaurant Plenitude in the Samaritaine department store in Paris.

Husband-and-wife team Dimitri and Marielle Droisneau also joined the top rank for their Mediterranean restaurant, La Villa Madie, in Cassis, near Marseille, which judges praised for its “poetic home-style cuisine.”

“With 49 restaurants promoted this year, included two three-star restaurants, we see that it is more than just resilience that the French gastronomic scene is showing incredible vitality and creative power,” the guide’s director Gwendal Poullennec told AFP.

Much focus in recent years has been on more minimalist, sustainably sourced cooking, which the guide has been rewarding with ’green stars’ since 2020.

There are now 87 green star restaurants in France, with six new additions in the new guide.

Last year’s ceremony, in the midst of a months-long shutdown caused by the pandemic, was a low-key affair with only one chef, Alexandre Mazzia, promoted to three stars.

But this year marked a rejuvenation, with a maskless crowd packing out the theatre in Cognac, a small town with a huge international reputation for its namesake spirit.

Controversies have long swirled around the Michelin Guide and the pressure it places on chefs.

In 2020, foodies were shocked when the Auberge du Pont de Collonges, the oldest three-starred restaurant in the world, was downgraded following the death of legendary chef, Paul Bocuse.

A year earlier, Marc Veyrat became the first to sue the guidebook, after losing the third star of his Alps restaurant La Maison des Bois just a year after it was awarded.

He lost the case and said he never again wanted to see a Michelin inspector in his restaurants. Poullennec said demotions were vital if the guidebook was to “remain relevant to customers.”

Judging by the tears and emotion onstage in Cognac, the guidebook continues to be a major source of motivation for chefs and their teams.

Meanwhile, there are some Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine mentioned in the Michelin Guide includes Turkish Kitchen, Pera, Sip Sak in New York, Ottoman Taverna in Washington, Sish Ke Baba in San Francisco, Yeni in London, Baab in the Scottish city of Oban and Blanc By Aytems in Sint-Truiden in Belgium.