PARIS – The latest Michelin guide is bestowing its highest award on two new restaurants, including a renowned Champs-Elysees kitchen whose chef just took charge in July after racking up the triple-star at his previous job.
Paris alone has nine three-star restaurants in the 2015 Michelin guide, including the latest one for the Pavillon Ledoyen. Its chef, Yannick Alleno, had already received a three-star rating in 2007 for his cooking at Hotel Le Meurice, which he left in January 2013.
A Savoyard father-and-son team appropriately named Rene and Maxime Meilleur — or ‘the best,’ in French — took the second new three-star award for their restaurant La Bouitte, which was built in a potato field, according to family lore.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who is also in charge of tourism, introduced this year’s Michelin guide to the country’s best restaurants. France receives more foreign visitors than any country in the world and is trying to change its reputation of giving them less than a warm welcome, especially in restaurants.
“Gastronomy is an important part of France’s heritage, as much as our countryside and our monuments,” Fabius said in a tweet Monday after the awards ceremony in a gilded room just across the Seine from Alleno’s restaurant.
Michelin was hoping to encourage more road trips — and thus more tire sales — when it started its guide in 1900. At the time, the free book also had listings for gas stations, mechanics and hotels as well as city maps.
Today, Michelin has a multitude of guides, some focusing on restaurants, others with a range of tourism-related listings. The company has expanded to include separate versions for New York City, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Macau.