Michelin 2024: Glory to the winners, honor to the losers! – Forbes France

There are great moments of emotion, of joy but also, more discreetly, disappointments, grimaces, even tears, depending on whether one is highlighted in the famous red guide or demoted, or radically eliminated from its annual selection. Behind the scenes at Michelin fascinates fans: we were there.

For its third presentation in the province, after Cognac and then Strasbourg, the Michelin Guide chose the Loire Valley and the city of Tours, a beautiful region although the city is not known for its hotels and its rather strange gastronomic addresses. However, for 24 hours numerous star chefs discovered the region and its sumptuous castles – in particular by participating in the great festive evening – while awaiting the long-awaited, long-awaited or dreaded official ceremony. The detractors may still be virulent, but Michelin remains the bible of our gastronomy and, without a doubt, the holy grail for all the chefs who have built their careers on the basis of this recognition. And you have to see the fervor of all these candidates for the famous star to be convinced that this reward is for them the ultimate goal of their commitment. And pour frequenter ce monde after 40 years this year, je mesure combien cet engouement est resté le même, d’autant que la quasi-totalité des guides dédiés à cet art ont totallyement disparus ou ne sont plus que l’ombre de ce qu’ have been.

1, 2, 3 (Stars)… Sunshine!

The predictions had been going well for ten days. It must be said that Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the Michelin guide, had launched the campaign on social networks to announce an exceptional vintage and we already knew that 62 new stars were going to be recognized. As it had been announced that 52 would have or regain a first star, the subtraction for the two and three star restaurants was done quickly knowing that the figure of 30 three star restaurants would not be exceeded, so we expected 8 establishments for the 2. stars. Much better than previous years, which were clearly deficient in this area! I ignore the 52 names of the first star (Buy the guide!), but not the intense joy of all those who followed one another on stage to the acclaim of the public, highlighting however in passing that a large majority of The recipients were under 40 years old. As for the two long-awaited stars, I was personally disappointed to see some of my predictions backfire. If I was not surprised that Christophe Cussac was honored with the restaurant of the Métropole Monte Carlo hotel: Les Ambassadeurs de Christophe Cussac, I was happy that the friendly Ronan Kervarec was also highlighted in his eponymous restaurant in Saint Grégoire (near Rennes in Brittany). , if the inexhaustible Christophe Bacquié, never calm, demonstrated that the two or three stars were well suited to the talent of this Best Worker of France in his Mas des Eydins in Bonnieux in the Luberon, and if surely the others whose establishments I do not know, surely that deserved these two stars (La Maison Benoît Vidal in Annecy, Frédéric Anton and his executive chef Kevin García for the Jules Verne on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower, Martino Ruggieri for his Maison Ruggieri on the eighth in Paris again). , L’Orangerie, directed by Alan Taudon for L’Orangerie, again at the Four Seasons George V in Paris, Sylvestre Wahid by Les Grandes Alpes, a beautiful and intimate restaurant in Courchevel), I was disappointed to see my favorites ignored: Eric Girardin at the Maison des Têtes in Colmar, Florent Piétravalle at la Mirande in Avignon and, of course, Mickaël Fulci for the Terraillers in Biot… but he’s my friend!

We could cite in the list those who obtained a green star “who promotes the initiatives of pioneering restaurants fully committed to a more sustainable gastronomy”, such as the various trophies sponsored with the MICHELIN Service Award 2024, awarded to Sandrine Deley Favario, director of the L’Auberge de Montmin restaurant in Talloires-Montmin, as well as to Serge Schaal, director of the restaurant La Fourchette des Ducs in Obernai; the Sommellerie award was awarded to Xavier Thuizat, restaurant director and head sommelier of the L’Ecrin restaurant in Paris, as well as to Magali Delalex, head sommelier of La Table de l’Ours in Val-d’Isère; The Young Chef, supported by Métro, awarded to Théo Fernandez, chef of the Auberge de la Forge in Lavalette. This year, succeeding Thierry Marx, Yannick Alléno received the Chef Mentor award while 8 new establishments They joined the Passion Dessert selection supported by Valrhona.

The Three Stars: not only (very) happy

The highlight of this national presentation was, of course, the awarding of the famous 3 stars. we already knew that Gwendal Poullennec decided to announce their demotion a little in advance to those who lost a star and the news leaked quickly: it is La Bouitte, the beautiful restaurant of René and Maxime Meilleur, father and son, who was “punished” this anus. We never know why! Michelin does not give any “public” explanation and, therefore, comments abound again. Having made this wonderful table a few years ago, I can only regret that this friendly and talented family, very involved in their beautiful home in Saint Martin de Belleville, is on the “black list”.

And then, of course, there are the promoted people. Like last year, two of them were on the top step of the podium. The first of them, Jérôme Banctel, chef at Gabriel-La Réserve Paris, had difficulty finding words, overcome with emotion. Understandable. After having tried his cuisine in this extraordinary hotel that is an example of welcome and service, I cannot but salute this supreme distinction. The other winner is the head of La Table du Castellet in the hotel of the same name in the village of the same name. Half a surprise! Fabien Ferré, who replaced his mentor Christophe Bacquié, with whom he remained for 11 years, shows that the student is as good as the teacher. And it was with sincere emotion that he asked Christophe Bacquié to come on stage with him to share this intense moment. Please note that in At only 35 years old, he became the youngest French chef with Three Stars.

534 “One Star” tables, 75 “Two Star” tables, 30 “Three Star” tables, Distributed throughout France, it is an opportunity to discover the diversity of genres, houses, talents and verify that we are still “the” country of gastronomy. Do not hesitate to discover them, it is always a feast for the senses. And Michelin is also waiting for your opinion.

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