MICHELIN guide 2014: the renewal
This year the MICHELIN guide awards three stars to the Assiette Champenoise, in Reims. In this truly exceptional restaurant, Chef Arnaud LALLEMENT offers a particularly creative and strikingly contemporary selection of cuisine. For Michael ELLIS, International Director of the MICHELIN guides “When our inspectors travel throughout France, they look for unique restaurants that are worth the journey, that astound the palate and spark emotion. This how we feel about Arnaud LALLEMENT’s cuisine, which is very much a reflection of himself: it is deeply rooted in his father’s legacy, to which Mr. LALLEMENT adds his own very personal touch. Ultimately, by seeking the finest ingredients throughout France, and surrounded by artisans trusted by his father before him, Arnaud LALLEMENT uses his remarkable know-how and technique to design dishes of great finesse , where tastes and textures are as subtle as they are delicious.”
The 2014 selection also boasts six new two stars restaurants: the Villa Madie in Cassis (Bouches du Rhône), the Table du Connétable in Chantilly (Oise), the Kintessence in Courchevel 1850 (Savoie), the Chambard in Kayseberg (Alsace), Il Cortile in Mulhouse (Alsace) whose chef is the first Italian in France to be awarded two stars, and Akrame in Paris (16th arrondissement), whose chef Akrame BENALLAL is only 33.
France’s gastronomical energy is found throughout the country, and is illustrated by the 57 restaurants that are awared one star. With seven chefs under 30, the younger generation truly stands out this year. Oscar GARCIA, from the Table d’Uzès (Gard), is awared his first star at only 25 - making him one of the youngest starred chefs in France! This new generation of young chefs trained in the finest kitchens, and they do not hesitate to launch their own restaurants, often choosing small and relaxed establishments to start out on their own: this illustrates a changing of the guard in French restaurants!
As they travelled throughout France during the year, our inspectors noticed that restaurateurs have been paying particular attention to their prices. As they did last year, chefs are increasingly focused on offering quality cuisine at reasonable prices. Indeed, 115 starred restaurants offer a set menu for 30 euros or less, often at lunchtime - so a starred meal does indeed rhyme with affordable prices! For example, young chef Florent Ladeyn offers a 21-euro lunch set menu is his Flanders family restaurant, l’Auberge du Vert Mont, in Boeschepe. Similarly, the chef Lloyd Tropeano offers delicious and surprising dishes for around 20 euros in his Bistrot de Lagarde in Lagarde d’Apt (Provence).
MICHELIN guide inspectors are always on the look-out for new addresses and hidden gems, and have tested all sorts of restaurants (brasseries, bistros and small restaurants as much as fine dining restaurants) and styles (French, Italian, Asian, modern, traditional) every day. The inspectors are anonymous: they behave like ordinary customers and always pay for their meals. But they assess each dish as professionals, always according to the same five criteria: the quality of the ingredients used, the chef's personality as expressed in the cuisine, mastery of the cooking technique and harmony of flavors, value for money and - of course - consistency. The best restaurants are awarded a Bib Gourmand or Michelin stars - a distinction based exclusively on cuisine quality and that is always a collegial decision. Comfort and service are assessed separately.
For over a century, MICHELIN guides have helped travelers on their journeys by offering them a selection of the best restaurants, hotels and guesthouses throughout the world. Today, the 24 MICHELIN guides cover 23 countries on three continents.
The France MICHELIN guide will be on sale from 28 February for 24.90 euros. It lists 8768 establishments, including:
- 4477 hotels and guesthouses, and 4384 restaurants
- 610 starred restaurants, including
- 504 one star (57 new)
- 79 two stars (6 new)
- 27 three stars (1 new)
- 651 Bib Gourmand (110 new)
The Paris MICHELIN guide will also be on sale from 28 February for 15.90 euros. It lists 608 restaurants, including 66 new establishments.
The MICHELIN guide is now on Twitter! Inspectors share their discoveries, good deals and favourites daily. Follow them on @guideMichelinFR.