Michelin unveils its French food stars for 2005

24th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 23 (AFP) - Europe's food bible, the Michelin guide, on Wednesday released its 2005 ratings of French restaurants, elevating a single establishment to the coveted three-star category, and demoting several others.

PARIS, Feb 23 (AFP) - Europe's food bible, the Michelin guide, on Wednesday released its 2005 ratings of French restaurants, elevating a single establishment to the coveted three-star category, and demoting several others.

The 96th edition of the Red Guide features 26 three-star restaurants, while 70 eateries are rated at two stars and 402 are given a one-star rating.

Chef Regis Marcon, of the Clos des Cimes restaurant in the central-eastern town of Saint-Bonnet-le-Froid, was rewarded for his Auvergne-inspired creations with a prised third star.

Two former high-flyers, the Pourcel brothers' Jardin des Sens in the Mediterranean city of Montpellier and chef Jacques Lameloise's eponymous restaurant in central-eastern Chagny, both slipped down to two-star rating.

The verdicts came as no surprise in gastronomic circles - Marcon had long been tipped as a potential three-star laureate, while both downgraded restaurants had been seen as overrated by critics.

In the two-star league, several young chefs were admitted to the club, as both La Reserve in Beaulieu-sur-mer, between Nice and Monaco, and the Ambassadeurs at the Hotel de Crillon in Paris were lifted one star up the ladder.

Meanwhile, the Divellec, a well-known Parisian seafood haunt, lost one of its two stars - seen by experts as punishment for a lack of innovation.

The Michelin guide, first published in 1900, introduced a system of star ratings in 1926. It awards the best food with one to three stars, the highest rating meaning "exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey."

The guide's evaluations play a crucial part in the fortunes of the chefs who struggle to get into the book and rise in its ranks.

Three stars is a guarantee that wealthy French and foreigners will line up to dine in an anointed establishment, while the loss of even one star can spell financial or emotional ruin.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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