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The top 30 restaurants in France, as per Michelin

Ahead of the summer Olympics, dozens of dining rooms across the country receive stars

(left) The interiors of the restaurant Le Gabriel at La Reserve Paris from the Instagram page @lareserveparis; and a selection of dishes at La Table du Castellet from guide.michelin.com.
(left) The interiors of the restaurant Le Gabriel at La Reserve Paris from the Instagram page @lareserveparis; and a selection of dishes at La Table du Castellet from guide.michelin.com.

As France prepares to welcome the world for the summer Olympics in Paris, the nation has dozens of shiny, newly starred restaurants to show off—62 to be exact. 

The number of three-starred dining rooms, the zenith of fine dining, in the nation increased to 30; last year it was 29. Two years ago, 31 restaurants held that top number. 

Also read | The Michelin Guide for France spotlights regionality

One of the newly minted three stars is Le Gabriel at La Reserve Paris near the Champs-Élysées. Chef Jérôme Banctel specializes in dishes with influences from around the world, like  lobster cooked on Japanese binchotan charcoal with almond pralines.

The other new three-star spot is La Table du Castellet in Le Castellet in southern France, where chef Fabien Ferré runs the kitchen. “I’m not so good at speeches, I’m better in the kitchen,” he said at the awards ceremony, surrounded by the other three-star chefs. At 35 years old, he’s the youngest in the category. His inspired cooking features on menus such as “Expression Marine” which might include a dish like mackerel with aloe vera, celery and kiwi.

Ferré took over the restaurant from mentor Christophe Bacquié, who earned three stars for the establishment in 2018. The restaurant closed in 2022, and Ferré reopened the dining room in 2023. In so swiftly earning the top ranking, the young chef has pulled off a notable feat.

The stars were announced on Monday, March 18 at a live event in Tours, a city on the lower reaches of the Loire River in central France that’s famous for its creamy pork spread, rillettes.

France is the home of the Michelin guide and the country with the world’s most Michelin stars. This year was marked by an increasing focus on regions outside of the French capital, according to Gwendal Poullennec, international director of Guide Michelin, who spoke at the introduction of the event. Even as the guide has been expanding to cities and regions all over the world, like Colorado and Atlanta, “France has a special position [for the Guide],” Poullennec said.

The ceremony, and the run on new starred dining rooms, came as economies have slowed worldwide and consumers are still struggling with higher living costs.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Ferré said he has witnessed first-hand the importance of earning three Michelin stars for the hotel-restaurant’s business. “From one day to the next the phone started ringing off the hook,” he said. As of now, he says, they still have availability for the Olympics. “But who knows. Maybe in a couple of days that might not be the case.”

This year there are 8 new two-star restaurants, a notable number that’s double last year’s count. Among them is one of France’s most famous spot, Le Jules Verne on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower. Another new two-star eatery is Les Grandes Alpes in Courchevel: On stage, chef Sylvestre Wahid described his journey from arriving in France as a child from Pakistan without speaking French to now having two Michelin stars.

This year there are 52 new one-star restaurants in the country. One of them is Le Tout-Paris in the Cheval Blanc hotel, which features a modern brasserie menu with dishes like blue lobster in a bergamot infused sauce. Another new one star is Espadon Restaurant at the Ritz Paris, headed up by its first female chef, Eugénie Béziat. “I follow my inspiration, it’s who I am,” she said, accepting her award. (It’s not the first time Béziat has headed up a one-star kitchen; previously she had one at La Flibuste in Villeneuve-Loubet.)

Outside Paris, new one stars included Alpage in the resort town of Courchevel in the Alps. 

Ahead of this year’s announcement, the Michelin guide announced bad news for some restaurants. The publication downgraded René et Maxime Meilleur from three stars to two; the restaurant is run by the eponymous father-and-son team in the Savoie region. 

Last year, the same thing happened to one of the country’s most famous chefs, Guy Savoy, for his restaurant in Paris, while Christopher Coutanceau’s fine dining seafood restaurant in La Rochelle also met the same fate.

Altogether, 28 restaurants were downgraded this year including another notable dining room, Auberge du Cheval Blanc in Lembach, Haut-Rhin, which dropped to one star from two. Twenty-six establishments lost their one-star status.

When Paris hosts the Olympics this summer, the country’s gastronomic heritage will be highlighted. Alain Ducasse, whose French-based restaurant empire has the most Michelin stars of any on earth, will prepare a dinner for about 100 visiting heads of state. The meal is scheduled for July 25, the day before the opening ceremony, to be served under the Louvre Pyramid.  

Among the special awards given out were eight to pastry chefs, for a category called “Passion Desserts.” One of the winners was Aurora Storari from Hemicycle in Paris; her specialties include roasted Jerusalem artichoke soufflé. The famed Yannick Alleno was recognized for mentoring; on stage he noted the importance of encouraging young people while also focusing on well-being. The Young Chef prize went to Theo Fernandez of Auberge de la Forge in Lavalette in south France; his restaurant also has a new one star ranking this year. 

This is the third year in a row Michelin has held its award ceremony outside Paris; last year, chefs celebrated at an event in Strasbourg and the year before in Cognac.  The Michelin guide has been around since 1900; in 1926 it began awarding stars. 

A  list of France’s Three Star restaurants follows, along with their locations. An asterisk (*) denotes a new selection.

Alléno Paris au Pavillon Ledoyen, Paris, 8 arrondissement
AM par Alexandre Mazzia, Marseille
Arpège, Paris, 7 arrondissement
Assiette Champenoise, Tinqueux, Grand Est
Auberge du Vieux Puits, Fontjoncouse, Occitanie
Epicure, Paris, 8 arrondissement
Flocons de Sel, Megève, Haute-Savoie
Georges Blanc, Vonnas, Ain
Kei, Paris, 1st arrondissement
La Marine, L’Herbaudière on Ile de Noirmoutier
L’Ambroisie, Paris, 4 arrondissement
L’Oustau de Baumanière, Les Baux-de-Provence, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur
*La Table du Castellet,  Le Castellet, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
La Vague d’Or — Cheval Blanc-St. Tropez, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur
La Villa Madie, Cassis, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur
Le 1947 — Cheval Blanc, Courchevel, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Le Cinq, Paris, 8th arrondissement
Le Clos des Sens, Annecy-le-Vieux, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
*Le Gabriel, Paris, 8 arrondissement 
Le Louis XV — Alain Ducasse à l’Hôtel de Paris, MonacoLe Petit Nice, Marseille
Le Pré Catelan, Paris, 16 arrondissement
Les Prés d’Eugénie – Michel Guérard, Eugénie-les-Bains, Nouvelle Acquitaine
Maison Lameloise, Chagny, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
Mirazur, Menton, Alpes-Maritimes
Pic, Valence, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Pierre Gagnaire, Paris, 8 arrondissement
Plenitude, Cheval Blanc, 1 arrondisement
Régis et Jacques Marcon, Saint-Bonnet-le-Froid, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Troisgros — Le Bois sans Feuilles, Ouches, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

Also read | The top restaurants in Seoul and Busan, as per Michelin

 

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