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Michelin Red Guide for France 2008


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Since January 3rd, the UK Forum has been awash in posts about the UK Red Guide's release today. Just this weekend in the FT, Derek Bulmer, the UK director was quoted as saying "I read all the restaurant critics; they are a good source of information, as are chat rooms and websites like www.egullet.com.” We knew that French chefs read us, but the Michelin boys?

In any case, now is about time for the rumors about who goes up and who down to appear in the press and on the street so this topic'll be "rumor central" for the 2008 Red Guide.

John

John Talbott

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My buddy, the real food critic, said today at lunch at Bigarrade (which is this year's Spring, by the way) that it (Bigarrade) would make it before Spring, which I had suggested, because it was not run by a native French-person. That makes me sad. Luckily, Daniel Rose will be in La Chine profonde then and only learn the news afterwards. On verra.

PS My pal is French so I'm not suggesting a cross-cultural difference.

John Talbott

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Gaya Rive Gauche already has a star from last year. Spring will be closed I think for the next four months , if not longer ...

Anti-alcoholics are unfortunates in the grip of water, that terrible poison, so corrosive that out of all substances it has been chosen for washing and scouring, and a drop of water added to a clear liquid like Absinthe, muddles it." ALFRED JARRY

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John,

I presume from your Taillevent "obvious" reference that the demotion is due to M. Vrinat's passing and not a decline in quality?  If so, does that not make (another) mockery of Michelin's insistence that the star rating is based purely on the food?

Well, who knows, and I'm not sure I want to get into a lengthy discussion of the Michelin's foibles and inconsistencies here, when they write up a place that hasn't yet opened it makes one wonder. However, you pointed out a disappointing meal not long ago, so......

As for

Spring will be closed I think for the next four months , if not longer ...
Daniel, godspeed!

John Talbott

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I wish I had some juicy gossip to fuel the Michelin Star flames, but unfortunately my inside information is mostly from the outside. I had some customers that claimed to know something about something about getting a Michelin star, but here is my take:

A Michelin star would make me downright giddy, but is very unlikely unless Michelin wants to create a new image for the Michelin star and the book in general. I think 'the critic' is right about the Bigarrade, but I don't think it has to do with being native french. The inspector that came into the restaurant and introduced himself last december was himself British. The food at the Bigarrade was technically 'perfect' and represents years of high level professional cooking on the part of Christophe the chef. Star or bib gourmand or whatever, i'll be glad to think that The Guide thinks that their 'readers' would like my restaurant. The clients that call me up and mention the Guide Michelin are very nice and quite remarkeable. I have a great deal of respect for the Guide Michelin and the few people that i've met that are associated with it. Very professional.

I'll be in Japan when the news comes out, but I won't be holding my breath. The restaurant will be closed from March 1 through the first week in April. I'll reopen with or without a Michelin star as long as the customers keep calling and asking nicely for a table.

My buddy, the real food critic, said today at lunch at Bigarrade (which is this year's Spring, by the way) that it (Bigarrade) would make it before Spring, which I had suggested, because it was not run by a native French-person.  That makes me sad.  Luckily, Daniel Rose will be in La Chine profonde  then and only learn the news afterwards.  On verra.

PS My pal is French so I'm not suggesting a cross-cultural difference.

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Le Chevre D'Or in Eze Village, Nice was placed in the 3 star espoir category in last years red guide. Following 2 meals there in 2007, I'm hoping it doesn't make the final grade as the cuisine lacked any sort of cohesion and did not compare to other 3 stars in the red guide.

Taste is everything

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I wish I had some juicy gossip to fuel the Michelin Star flames, but unfortunately I think 'the critic' is right about the Bigarrade, but I don't think it has to do with being native french.  The inspector that came into the restaurant and introduced himself last december was himself British. The food at the Bigarrade was technically 'perfect' and represents years of high level professional cooking on the part of Christophe the chef.

British, French, whatever, we've had this discussion before but whenever flowers (a la Beauvilliers) or connections (a la Darroze) or prior reputation (a la L'Ostend Queen in Belgium) trump food it tarnishes Michelin's reputation. I'm still rooting for Spring and Daniel, there is wifi in Asia. Have a well-deserved stage-vacation!

John Talbott

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Wi-fi in Japan as well....

Anti-alcoholics are unfortunates in the grip of water, that terrible poison, so corrosive that out of all substances it has been chosen for washing and scouring, and a drop of water added to a clear liquid like Absinthe, muddles it." ALFRED JARRY

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and the Michelin inspectors read egullet!

Anti-alcoholics are unfortunates in the grip of water, that terrible poison, so corrosive that out of all substances it has been chosen for washing and scouring, and a drop of water added to a clear liquid like Absinthe, muddles it." ALFRED JARRY

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Since January 3rd, the UK Forum has been awash in posts about the UK Red Guide's release today.  Just this weekend in the FT, Derek Bulmer, the UK director was quoted as saying "I read all the restaurant critics; they are a good source of information, as are chat rooms and websites like www.egullet.com.”  We knew that French chefs read us, but the Michelin boys?

I should have said "The French Michelin boys?"

But Fresh_A confirms that even in France

.....the Michelin inspectors read egullet!
So watch what you say folk. Our voice is heard outside the club.

John Talbott

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Actually, as far as I know, it's only the French Michelin boys - but I'm sure the others are too...

Anti-alcoholics are unfortunates in the grip of water, that terrible poison, so corrosive that out of all substances it has been chosen for washing and scouring, and a drop of water added to a clear liquid like Absinthe, muddles it." ALFRED JARRY

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So watch what you say folk.  Our voice is heard outside the club.

They claim they care about customer feedback, indeed.

I also happen to know that there are "preferred" customers whose comments they value higher than those from "simple" customers.

As a "simple" customer, I have written quite a few dinner reviews and sent them to them and they actually read my comments with some attention. They noted what I liked and did not like and I had a personalised reply each time. Of course, they never argued any point...

So, how much does this count in the printed guide? i'm not sure it does that much at all. There are still quite some inconsistencies. The star rewards remain mysterious and obviously inconsistsent. It is obvious to a lot of people that no, it is not ONLY what's in the plate that matters. The 3 star category pretty much a joke (not even half of them are actually worth the trip)... -of course, this is all only MVHO-

It's been debated many times here and on other boards, so no need to go in details about the reasons why the guide somehow keeps having some influence... but I do believe that marketing still is the main guide to the guide...

The rumours "game" is always fun, of course :wink:

Don't know for Paris. But for Strasbourg, I've heard "La Casserole", "Le Pont Aux Chats" and Buerehiesel for one star. The one that clearly deserves it, IMHO, is "Le Pont Aux Chats".

"Je préfère le vin d'ici à l'au-delà"

Francis Blanche

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Let's start some rumours now - notwithstanding Julien's dislike of all things Ducasse-related, I think it's time Les Ambassadeurs made the final ascent to the summit.

I went last week and honestly it sucked. I loved the room, georgeous, and the place is infinitely stylish and classy. More so, I believe that the other palaces like Le Cinq or le Meurice which I find q bit pretentious and over the top.

But apart from that, while I had a prefectly pleasant evening, and all the more so since I was invited, it was mostly precious and uninteresting. I would say that the quality was high but even was that not always the case with underwhelming truffles and second rate cheese (eventhough it was from Anthony).

I will post separately for more detail.

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Look for François Simon's take on it on his website tonight. He's always on the spot. And on mine for the English info... There's also a facebook page on the same subject

Here are, basically, all the rumours I've found out for the moment.

Gérald Passédat at Le Petit Nice (last year's espoir) in Marseille will get three stars

Philippe Legendre at Le Cinq will get back his third star

L’Oustau de Baumanière aux Baux- de-Provence, gets two stars and an "espoir" rating.

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon gets two stars

Jean-François Piège (Les Ambassadeurs, Hôtel de Crillon) misses out again on his third star.

Didier Elena (Les Crayères) gets his third star (probably false)

Alain Passard, loss of one star

William Ledeuil (Ze Kitchen Gallerie – Paris) gets his first star

Alain Ducasse gets a star for his opening of the Jules Verne

Edited by fresh_a (log)

Anti-alcoholics are unfortunates in the grip of water, that terrible poison, so corrosive that out of all substances it has been chosen for washing and scouring, and a drop of water added to a clear liquid like Absinthe, muddles it." ALFRED JARRY

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