Major changes in today’s Michelin France 2014 publication (plenty of action) :
***Following ‘big names’ of France’s haute dining scene were demoted of their 2 stars:
Auberge de l’Ile (Lyon), Alain Senderens, Apicius (both in Paris) and Hostellerie Jérôme (La Turbie)
***Plaza Athénée (Paris) lost its 3 stars. Ok, this is not a shock per se, since they’ve closed it temporarily (will re-open in Spring)
***Stella Maris (Paris) lost its sole star. I know very well SM and actually ate there last year during my last visit to Paris.
All I can say is that the meal I had was of same level as plenty of 1 star Michelin in France that have retained their 1 star. Other major restaurants that lost their 1 star: La Bigarrade (Paris), Michel del Burgo (Carcassonne), Le Divellec (Paris)
*** A new three star (there are 27 in France): Assiette Champenoise (Reims) – Chef Lallement is also Gault et Millau France’s Chef the year.
***Akrame (Paris) has now gained a second star.
***Es and Septime have now 1 star
My thoughts: Wow, that was an exciting publication. I am actually not surprised since new Michelin Director Michael Ellis has clearly opted for fresh new views/approaches of the fine dining scene (such as encouraging younger Chefs). Michelin clearly adapting to new generations of diners (who would have thought that one day Auberge de l’Ile or Hostellerie Jérôme would have lost their stars??), the newer 3 star Chefs embodying the will of Michelin to bring young Chefs to the forefront of France haute dining (Chef Lallement is 39, last year’s newer 3 star Chef Donckele is 36 ) . As ever, the ‘existentialist’ character of what needs to be underlined or not remains a daunting task doomed to be divisive: should we forget the highlights of the past? If Yes, then we are wiping off an important part of our culinary traditions. Many might not care, but I do: what is life with no memory? What is food if we do not know how it’s supposed to taste like? What is running if we don’t take time to understand how to walk? I am all for new discoveries, new talents, and there’s no need to panic for now (it’s not as if half of the classic French restaurants have lost their stars and the latest young triple-starred Chefs have a solid base of classic French cooking backing their cuisine), but we shall never forget that food with no reference is like life with no soul.