The world’s cradle of cuisine and a true gourmet paradise, France does food like nowhere else. And when it comes to ranking these foodie treats, the Michelin Guide does it like no other. If you’re visiting France this year and fancy adding the very best in the country’s cooking to your must-try list, read on for the list of the Michelin stars awarded in France 2019.
Some 632 stars shine in this year’s very full firmament with a record number of newbies. 2019 also sees the addition of several female chefs and a nod to new talent on the French cooking scene. But as this post reveals, the Michelin Guide listing for France this year also came with a sprinkling of surprises and disappointments.
The most exceptional of all
Described by the guide itself an award denoting “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey”, the triple Michelin star ranks as the world’s highest award for cuisine. Not surprisingly, France is home to one of the longest lists of 3-star restaurants. This year, the total comes to 27.
New at the top of French Michelin stars 2019 is Mirazur in Menton, overlooking the Mediterranean on the Côte d’Azur. Unusually for France, a foreign chef has clinched the accolade – Argentinian Mauro Colagreco is the master behind the restaurant’s creations. Mirazur is famous for its seasonal menu and homegrown produce. Showcasing some of the best is Calagreco’s signature dish: a feast of oysters with tapioca, shallot cream and pear.
Also joining the brightest constellations in the Michelin sky is Le Clos des Sens in Annecy-le Vieux, not far from the stunning lakes in Haute Savoie. These pretty waterways – Lake Annecy, Lake Geneva and Lac du Bourget provide the produce for the 3-star restaurant where lake fish feature high on the menu.
Worth a detour
The French restaurants offering “excellent cooking, worth a detour” number 85 in total this year. The list of 2-star Michelin restaurants in France includes five newbies in 2019. Flying the flag for female chefs is Stephanie Le Quellec whose Parisian restaurant La Scène has added a second Michelin star this year.
Joining the double stars are Le Coquillage at Cancale, known for its spices and sea flavours; AM in Marseille where the “excellent cooking” has a spicy Congo-Brazzaville note to it; La Maison d’à Côté between Blois and Chambord in the Loire Valley; and David Toutain in Paris.
Very good in its category
A Michelin star ranks among many a chefs’ ultimate dream and 2019 saw 68 new Michelin stars awarded in France this year. This year’s additions bring the total of single stars to 520, one of the longest lists in the world. Noteworthy newbies in the French Michelin firmament include another female chef, Julia Sedefdjian for her new restaurant Baieta serving Mediterranean food in Paris.
As well as its nod to female culinary creators, the 2019 edition of Michelin stars in France also rewarded young talent. 29-year-old Guillaume Sanchez received a star for his restaurant NESO in Paris where vegetable fermentations take centre stage on the menu. Even younger, Antoine Gras (just 25) also made it to the list with Table de l’Ours in Val d’Isère.
Not all shiny and new
But as usual, the list of Michelin stars awarded in France also brought with it some surprises and disappointments. Three of the country’s top restaurants saw one of their three stars shoot out of this year’s rating.
Marc Veyrat dropped from three stars to two for his restaurant Maison des Bois as did L’Astrance run by Pascal Barbot in Paris and Auberge de L’Ill in Alsace. The loss of the star for the latter was particularly devastating since the restaurant had enjoyed the triple accolade for 51 years.
In the surprise department is Le Suquet. Fans of French cuisine will be familiar with chef’s Sebastien Bras’ love-hate relationship with Michelin stars. In 2018, he requested to be dropped from the running because of the “huge pressure” that the star system involves. However, in 2019 Le Suquet has returned with two Michelin stars. Whether Bras requests another elimination in 2020 after the “pressure” of 2019 remains to be seen.
Best cuisine on the French waterways
In a country with no less than 632 restaurants boasting Michelin stars, you’re never going to be far from excellent French cuisine. Add to these the restaurants in the Bib Gourmand category – 604 in total – and in most parts of France you’ll be spoilt for choice.
But you don’t have to dine at Michelin starred restaurants to enjoy the best food in France. You can enjoy fabulous cuisine made with the finest French ingredients on board all our luxury barge cruises.
In fact, many guests say that cuisine on board is at least equal to Michelin dining. A professional chef creates daily gourmet treats for guests, all of which come paired with the best of French wine. All you have to do is pick your gourmet trip on the waterways.
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