The Michelin inspectors have unveiled the recipients of the much-coveted third star. This year, the Michelin Guide to the finest cuisine in France awarded none other than Alain Ducasse for his restaurant at the Plaza Athénée and Christian Le Aquer of Le Cinq.
With his ‘natural’ style of cuisine Alain Ducasse’s restaurant broke the norms and codes of Parisian fine dining with his choice of removing meat from the menu. Ducasse, also the head chef of Louis XV in Monaco, chose instead to craft a new menu based solely on fish, vegetables and grains. With Romain Meder at the wheel and designed by Patrick Jouin, the Plaza Athénée accepts the third star after having missed out in 2015.
Both of this year’s new three-star restaurants are found in Paris’s “triangle d’or” – or golden triangle – a chic part of the 8th arrondissement taking in the Champs-Elysées. A stone’s throw from the red awnings of the Plaza Athénée on Avenue Montaigne, restaurateurs at the Four Seasons Georges V hotel were also holding their breath waiting for the 2016 Michelin Red Guide results. Hired to take over the kitchen at Le Cinq in October 2014, Christian Le Squer had made no secret of his goal to attain a three-star rating. The chef, a native of France’s Brittany region, had become accustomed to three-star status in his 12 years heading up the kitchen at the Pavillon Ledoyen in Paris.
Joël Robuchon and businessman Bernard Magrez, opened La Grande Maison in Bordeaux too late at the end of 2014 to be inspected by Michelin for 2015. And in this year’s edition the world’s most starred chef got a ranking of two stars for the location.
Jean-François Piège impressed inspectors with his Grand Restaurant, which opened in Paris last September. Piège, a jury member from the French version of TV cooking contest Top Chef, gets two stars from the outset.
While the Michelin Guide shines the spotlight on Paris, Bordeaux has got the culinary world talking this year too, as Scottish chef Gordon Ramsay – freshly arrived at the Pressoir d’Argent gastronomic restaurant at the Grand Hôtel — got one star in the 2016 honors.
The Michelin Guide 2016 awarded 54 new stars for its 2016 edition, due out on February 5, in an ambiance overshadowed by the death of the renowned Franco-Swiss chef Benoît Violier.