The Michelin Guide for France 2016 has been released (i.e. on February 1, 2016) with two additional restaurants receiving the guide’s highest merit of three Michelin stars;
- Le Cinq – located in Hôtel George V (Paris). Christian LeSquer has been the executive chef at Le Cinq since October 2014. He previously held three stars for more than a decade at Le Pavillon Ledoyen (in Paris).
- Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée – Ducasse’s restaurant at the Plaza Athénée used to hold three Michelin stars, but after a relaunch in 2014 with a new “naturelness cuisine” menu (vegetables, fish and grains, but no meat), the restaurant was downgraded to two stars in the 2015 guide.
Two 3-star restaurants were also demoted to two stars:
- Le Meurice (Alain Ducasse) in Paris. The demotion of Le Meurice may be related to the departure of chef Christophe Saintagne, who announced in December (2015), that he’s leaving Le Meurice to open up his own restaurant “Le Papillon” in the 17th arrondissement.
- Le Relais Bernard Loiseau in Saulieu. The new guide’s release reminds the restaurant community of a heartrending 2003 event in which Le Relais Bernard Loiseau’s namesake chef Bernard Loiseau committed suicide at the age of 52 after news reports speculated he may lose his third star. Something that has now, in the 2016 edition of the Guide, come to realization. The sad tale seems all too familiar today (i.e. early February 2016) , as news broke over the weekend that chef Benoît Violier of the three-starred Restaurant de l’Hotel de Ville Crissier was found dead in his home in Crissier (Switzerland) of a suspected suicide.
There were 10 news restaurants in total to receive their second star, one, Le Grand Restaurant de Jean Francois Piège, which went straight to two stars after opening as late as back in September 2015 (I have heard that consistency must be proved for some extended time to be able to gain such an accolade, but maybe not if your restaurant is located in France…).
In the one star category there was a total of 42 new restaurant to receive their first star (seven of those located in Paris). In total, the Michelin guide for France 2016 featured 600 restaurants with stars:
- 26 restaurants with three stars
- 82 restaurants with a two-star rating
- 492 restaurant with a one-star rating