French gastronomic scene is particularly engaged and resilient, says new 2022 Michelin Guide France.
La Villa Madie Restaurant in Cassis and Plénitude – Cheval Blanc Paris both receive 3 MICHELIN Stars in the new 2022 Michelin Guide France.
While the two-year pandemic has severely impacted the restaurant sector, with mid- and long-term effects which are still difficult to gauge, France’s restaurant owners have worked hard all year to impress Michelin Guide’s inspectors.
Unveiled this week at Cognac Theatre, at the heart of the Charentes region (France), and in the presence of a number of chefs and restaurant professionals coming together for the occasion, the new selection demonstrates the excellence, talent and creativity of the French gastronomic scene, which is particularly engaged and resilient. In total, there are 627 MICHELIN-Starred restaurants in the 2022 vintage, including 49 newly promoted eateries.
“Without ever putting aside their quest for excellence and authenticity, which sets French gastronomy apart, and while remaining open to the world and its resources, the chefs and all the other catering professionals, have brought to light an evolving French culinary landscape which our inspectors were delighed to explore for the benefit of gourmets everywhere”, explained Michelin Guide’s Gwendal Poullennec.
“As a pioneering and influential figurehead of gastronomy, France is one of the countries where awareness of sustainability issues is growing. France alone boasts 87 Green Star restaurants, all of which, in their own way, are inciting professionals to lead an ethical transformation of their activity and urging gourmets to succumb to inspiring dining experiences”.
Two restaurants join the distinguished Three MICHELIN Stars circle
Located in a stunning and secluded cove in Cassis’ cap Canaille, La Villa Madie Restaurant has reached the pinnacle of gastronomic success with its third MICHELIN Star. Managed by Dimitri and Marielle Droisneau since 2013, this charming restaurant is meant as an ode to the Mediterranean, which provides inspiration both for the design and the cuisine. In the dishes, influences of the Southern coast and inland region unfold in finely sculpted offerings. The taste combinations are striking, subtle and feature both elements of the sea and those of wild herbs and and plants picked in the surrounding area. The Carabineros shrimp on a red berry tartlet and the rabbit and jumbo shrimp fricassee with early apricots, are two of the house’s emblematic dishes, reflecting all the talent and elegance the two restauranteurs wish to share with their diners. As a nod to the roots of Marielle Droisneau, who brings unparalleled kindness and hospitality to the dining room, diners will find on each table an inconic Aveyron Le Livadou knife, used by wine-growers in the Marcillac-Vallon vineyard.
At the heart of the French capital and overlooking the Seine, Plénitude – Cheval Blanc Paris has succeeded in the feat of earning Three MICHELIN Stars in one go. Within the legendary Samaritaine building, chef Arnaud Donckele creates virtuoso dishes, revealing all the qualities of this artisan and ingenious master creator of sauces. At the table, the soul of French cooking is not only summoned and exalted, but reversed because the sauces, stocks and vinaigrettes, not only serve as binding agents, but take pride of place on the menu and in each dish. Just like a perfumer or alchemist combining rare and complex varieties, the prized nectars transport and enthrall diners, while whisking them away on an exceptional sensory experience. As the starting point for all the menus which gravitate around them, these sauces, which the chef has christened “Absolutes”, and explained in a menu which resembles a handbook, provide accords with remarkable accuracy.
6 new tables earn Two MICHELIN Stars
In Paris’ 12th district, Table – Bruno Verjus Restaurant delivers precise and subtle cuisine, entirely dedicated to exceptional produce which the self-taught chef, Bruno Verjus deftly enhances. The wanderlust-inspiring names – Crunchy Lobster on its Rock – are only equalled by the story of the products themselves, just like the Utah Beach oysters, which have escaped a pocket or two and which are harvested out to sea at 7-9 years old. This promotion of regional produce, as well as relationships of proximity forged with committed producers, earned the establishment a MICHELIN Green Star back in 2020.
In Monaco, eclecticism and sensitivity are the watchwords for the cuisine of Marcel Ravin, who, at the Blue Bay Restaurant, takes his diners to discover his native Martinique and his childhood culinary memories. Martinique flavors and recipes are revisited and complemented with Mediterranean products, resulting in original and exotic creations, such as the green vegetable and Chayote soup with lightly seared red mullet strips and smoked tea, the marinated murex sea snails with spicy coconut water, cockles and urchin tongues, or the toasted sweet potato brioche with pistachio crumbs.
At the heart of the Sauternes region, Lalique, which earned its first Star in 2019, proposes, under the aegis of chef Jérôme Schilling, dishes which pay tribute to local and seasonal produce, such as the hunter’s mallard and the St-Pierre-de-Mons tomato. Whether it be the single or the plant-based menu, the cuisine is accurate, hearty and sharply honed, just like the Sauternes terroir.
In Nîmes in the Gard Department, chef-duo Nicolas Fontaine and Julien Caligo, who run Duende on behalf of Pierre Gagnaire, offer creative cuisine with a focus on Mediterraean flavors. The Baron des Cévennes pork rubs shoulders with Palamos shrimp in subtle and delicate dishes, which earned their first Star last year, while Pierre Gagnaire’s sumptuous dessert, a true gourmet orchestral score, delivers a riot of sweet notes.
In Paris, Greek-born chef, Philip Chronopoulos and his team earned their second Star at the Palais Royal Restaurant. His Mediterraean cuisine with strong Greek influences, the only one of this type to have earned Two Stars in France, will carry diners away to far-flung climes. One-of-a-kind, the platters of refined mezze and the more personal creations, reveal flavors which are brimful of finesse and which convey this passionate chef’s commitment.
Finally, on the top floor of the Peninsula, at the L’Oiseau Blanc restaurant, named after the plane – which has been reproduced and exhibited on top of the hotel – aboard which Nungesser and Coli attempted a trans-Atlantic crossing in 1927, chef David Bizet conducts a musical score with great precision. Offering modern and seasonal fayre, the chef wonderfully masters texture combinations, different types of cooking, sauces and emulsions. Here, culinary techniques are entirely dedicated to sparking emotions, accompanied by an artistic sensitivty which is expressed through a pure and graphic presentation.
In total, 74 restaurants have received Two MICHELIN Stars in the 2022 selection. The MICHELIN Guide recommends 41 new restaurants in the One Star category.
The inspection teams traveled the length and breadth of France searching for new gastronomic talent. With 41 tables joining the One MICHELIN Star selection, the inspectors hope to share with the Guide’s gourmet community, a whole host of discoveries throughout France.
6 new restaurants have received the MICHELIN Green Star to shed light on their sustainable initiatives
For the third year running, the MICHELIN Guide has awarded its Green Star to restaurants from its selections which stand out for their ambitious approach to more sustainable gastronomy.
Each defining working philosophies and particularly engaged and inspiring dining experiences in their own manner, 6 new establishments have received the MICHELIN Green Star: Domaine Riberach – La Coopérative in Bélesta, Toya in Faulquemont, La Table de la Butte in Plouider, La Table du Gourmet in Riquewihr, Les Belles Perdix de Troplong Mondot in Saint-Emillion and l’Auberge Sauvage in Servon.
Cédric Bilien, at the Moulin de Rosmadec in Pont-Aven, and François Lhermitte, Sommelier at Julien Binz in Ammerschwihr, meanwhile, received the MICHELIN Sommelier Award, presented by Paz Levinson, Executive Sommelier for the Pic Group.
Designed and created four years ago by MICHELIN Guide inspectors to showcase establishments who set themselves apart with their sweet endeavors, and who offer exceptional quality desserts, the Passion Dessert selection, sponsored by Valrhona, now features 6 new restaurants. From the daring pairings of Aleksandre Oliver at La Rotonde – Hôtel du Palais in Biarritz, to the haute couture creations of Maxime Frédéric at Plénitude – Cheval Blanc in Paris, and not forgetting the briny associations particularly rooted in their terroir by Jérémy Garnier and Alexandre Couillon at La Marine on Noirmoutier island, all of these establishments concoct new ideas on the fast-paced sweet art scene. In total, 46 restaurants and an equal number of talented pastry chefs have been recognized in this year’s Passion Dessert selection.
With the aim of promoting young talent, and fostering the establishment of new vocations, the MICHELIN Guide gave its Young Chef award to Victor Mercier, head chef at the FIEF restaurant in Paris. The award celebrates the talent and audacity of a professional who, at only 31 years old, has a restaurant concept and culinary identity maturity which impressed the inspectors.
Finally, and new for this year, the MICHELIN Guide wished to promote the commitment to serving the industry and the inspiring personality of a professional with the Chef Mentor Award, presented by Blancpain. Awarded to Thierry Marx, head chef at the 2 Stars Sur Mesure restaurant by Thierry Marx in Paris, this award recognizes all the endeavors and initiatives implemented by this chef who is deeply invested in promoting the cooking profession and defending restaurant careers as a source of personal and professional fulfillment.