COGNAC: The number of three Michelin star restaurants have risen to 31 after two new restaurants received their coveted three stars at the award ceremony in Cognac on Tuesday 22 March.
Arnaud Donckele, already chef of the three Michelin star restaurant La Vague d’Or in St Tropez also clinched three stars for his restaurant Plenitude – Cheval Blanc in Paris. On the other hand, Dimitri and Marielle Droisneau also joined France’s culinary elite for their restaurant La Villa Madie in Cassis.
There were six new two Michelin star restaurants and 41 one Michelin star restaurants in the new guide which today has 627 Michelin star restaurants in total, the large majority of them in the Paris region.
Jerome Schilling was the first to be called on stage to receive the second star for restaurant Lalique. Duende received its first star in 2021 and a year later the team of Pierre Gagnaire has clinched a second star for their restaurant in the hotel Emperator.
Greek chef Philip Chronopoulos clinched a second star for Palais Royal Restaurant in Paris while David Bizet did the same for L’Oiseau Blanc. In Monaco, Le Blue Bay by chef Marcel Ravin who moved to France when he was 18 years old from the Antilles also got two stars. But maybe none got the same applause as Bruno Verjus who only became a chef eight years ago after a complete career change that saw him study medicine and management before becoming an entrepreneur, one of the most influential writers and bloggers before turning to cooking at his restaurant Table in Paris.
Michelin International Director Gwendal Poullennec said at the start of the award ceremony that there still remained few women at the helm of restaurants and he called on all chefs in the star-studded audience to help create a transformation that was needed.
“While the two-year pandemic has severely impacted the restaurant sector, with mid- and long-term effects which are still difficult to gauge, France’s restaurant owners have worked hard all year to impress us. Through their energy to concentrate on what matters – welcoming diners and protecting their staff members – their ability to constantly reinvent themselves and their determination to rewrite the rule book when it comes to an evolving professional sector. Without ever putting aside their quest for excellence and authenticity, which sets French gastronomy apart, and while remaining open to the world and its resources, the chefs and all the other catering professionals, have brought to light an evolving French culinary landscape which our inspectors were delighed to explore for the benefit of gourmets everywhere”, explained Gwendal Poullennec.
“As a pioneering and influential figurehead of gastronomy, France is one of the countries where awareness of sustainability issues is growing. France alone boasts 87 Green Star restaurants, all of which, in their own way, are inciting professionals to lead an ethical transformation of their activity and urging gourmets to succumb to inspiring dining experiences”. Six new restaurants were awarded a Green star.
Despite rumours and fears that there would be restaurants that would lose their three stars, this was not the case except for the inevitable removal of Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée given the closure of the restaurant.
The event was organised in Cognac for the first time.
There were 41 new restaurants that were awarded one star, (see list below). The young chef of the year was Victor Mercier of restaurant Fief in Paris who also clinched a star. Mentor of the year was two Michelin star chef Thierry Marx.
In total six restaurants were awarded the Green star.
There was a standing ovation for Alexandre Mazzia and Helene Darroze who were awarded three Michelin stars last year. Alexandre Mazzia spoke about the importance of team and how this was for him very important since as a former sportsman the award meant he represented his city, his region and his country.
On the other hand Helene Darroze (who also received a new one star for her restaurant Helene Darroze a Villa La Coste said the award would be impossible without all her team who has helped her to develop and enable her to reach the recognition through their implementation of her vision.
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