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Feb 24, 2014 06:25 AM

2014 Michelin

It seems that, according to "Big Red", the Japanese chefs are out-cheffing everyone in Paris with Jin, ES, Okuda winning macarons this year. Congratulations also to Septime and Goust.

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  1. I was just looking for the new 3star, L assiette champenoise. in Reims. It already had 5 toques by G&M.

    Anyone been there?

    4 Replies
    1. re: Giannis

      Yes, Baby!!!! I sure have been there! Just finding out here that Arnaud Lallement has finally gotten his third star! It's been a while since I was there, but the dinners and lunches we enjoyed are still fresh in my mind. And wherever I go folks are talking about his fabulous food. Definitely eat there if you can.

      1. re: ChefJune

        Was planning on going in a few weeks, I hope there isn't a stampede and they don't put the prices up

        ChefJune, did you ever write up your visit? I can't find anything on the Board

        1. re: mr_gimlet

          I didn't, Mr. G. Not sure why, except that I was going to school in an extremely intense program the week I stayed and ate there.

          FWIW, the accommodations there are top notch, and their breakfasts are SO luxurious.

        2. re: ChefJune

          Indeed, congratulations, couldn't happen to a nicer guy and a more talented cook.

      2. Yup, the Japanese chefs just keep coming on. Bless them.

        1. I thought it useful to share the full Paris results:

          3 Star - Alan Ducasse au Plaza Athenee has closed so the stars have been deleted - he took over the kitchens at Le Meurice and maintains three there.

          2 Star - Apicius was downgraded to one and Akrame promoted to two.

          1 Star - loses of the star are: 35° Quest; Le Divellec; Stella Marais; L'Instand d'Or; Le Lumiere; La Bigarrade; and La Truffe Noir.

          New one stars are: Jin; Goust; ES; Okuda; La Scene; Qui Plume La Lune; Septime; St James Paris; Rech; and Le Corot.

          I think its also interesting to read the commentary in the press release which talks about the recognition of younger chefs with 7 of the new one stars having chefs under 30, and Akrame Benallal getting his 2nd at 33. The commentary also talks about the number of lower cost restaurants in this years lists with 115 starred places offering meals under €30, and it mentions the diversity of restaurants.

          Maybe they are responding to, and refuting, the recent Michelin criticism on CH which focussed on the belief Michelin was traditional, expensive and only appreciated by the older chefs.

          16 Replies
          1. re: PhilD

            Michelin in recent years has continuously been going through panic cycles while increasingly losing its grip on reality. To "refute" anything, first they should have to respond to something. But they are not responding to anything except their inner desire to preserve their status as a reference that is alread a thing of the past. And they do not really know how to achieve that, they "try" stuff every once in a while. They do not respond to any outside stimulus. They only rules of the game they accept are the ones they create. So sometimes they will drop a couple of macs to a few youngsters in order to push back the wheelchair, but it would be naive to think that means there's any significant change in the policy.

            That they give fully deserved macarons to chefs like Grébaut and Akrame is one thing, and it's actually a no-brainer. That is the least they could do. That it should mean something is quite another thing.

            1. re: Ptipois

              Nevertheless they are giving evidence to refute many the criticisms levelled at them i.e. recognising young chefs; rewarding a broad range of price points; and not just rewarding the traditional French restaurants.

              I don't pretend Michelin is perfect, but I firmly believe it has it's place in restaurant criticism.

              1. re: PhilD

                They have always recognized young chefs from time to time; nobody ever said they didn't. The Michelin macaron system would perhaps retain a valid place in restaurant criticism if some serious flaws hadn't proved regularly that the entire system is flawed. Now the only thing I can say is that they've exposed their incompetence and that not everything can last forever. As for the times when they are "right", it's only a case of a clock showing the right time twice in 24 hours. As I wrote, there's nothing brilliant about giving a star to Bertrand Grébaut. Proves nothing at all.

                Again, I haven't got much against its validity as a guide. Though frankly misleading at times (especially with the Bib Gourmand in Paris), it can still be used. What I consider not valid is the macaron system.

                1. re: Ptipois

                  Once again, I have to mount my soap box. One has to calibrate the recommendations of any guru. Michelin Red is biblical for many and serves them exceedingly well, others not so much.

                  More problematic is the "NYT" effect of new macarons, making previously easy tables close to impossible as new groupies vie for a cover.

                  As JT often preaches, there are enough tables out there for all of us.

                  1. re: Ptipois

                    Bless you Pti for bringing sanity into the discussion.

                    1. re: John Talbott

                      John - Pti has a different point of view (no problem with that) but to infer those that disagree with that point of view lack sanity (or are insane) is rather insulting.

                      1. re: PhilD

                        I apologize, I intended no insult.

                        1. re: John Talbott

                          Thanks John for adding sanity to the discussion ;-)

              2. re: PhilD

                Okuda would've been 2 or 3 stars had it been located at HK or United States

                Well, glad it's in Paris where Michelin's high(est) accolade is not that easy to attain

                1. re: Bu Pun Su

                  I have trouble understanding your post. Why would it be a good thing that the same cuisine (more or less) would be more severely noted in Paris than in Tokyo or Hong Kong? What would it reveal about the Michelin other than double standards?

                  If it happens that in this case the highest accolade is out of reach because it is not a French restaurant (highly plausible in the light of former examples), there isn't a lot to be glad about.

                  1. re: Ptipois

                    Both of you may be right.
                    The rating of Michelin stars in HK or China or Las Vegas does seem to be different, based on different guidelines. Double, triple, weird standards indeed.

                    1. re: Parigi

                      Indeed. So apologies if there's some irony that I missed.

                      1. re: Parigi

                        First Michelin doesn't have a China guide does it? It does cover the SAR's of HK and Macau but not the PRC.

                        Second, I agree, their inconsistency in HK compared to other countries is a concern and they need to address it. I believe they have done this in Japan with a change in inspectors from mainly western to all Japanese which has improved the credibility of the guide.

                        The HK one is intriguing because most of the ones that make the guide are good and deserve to be recognised. The problem is at the two and three star level with sone restaurants that get these awards here in HK but would struggle in Europe.

                        That said I tend to view the quality of each guide varies by country, and take that variation as a factor of maturity in these countries given the guides are still new. Therefore it is logical to assess the merits of each guide independently and to me the French guide is pretty good as one of the sources I use (but I do triangulate in all countries).

                        One other thought - I did read (some time ago) that Michelin were trying to localise their approach to guides. Thus pubs in the UK are judged slightly differently than restaurants. The food in both needs to be of a consistently high standard, but the style and nature if the food in the pub can be "appropriate" to the pub and thus it is possible for it to be different to that which is appropriate to a restaurant. I believe the logic is that diners expectations vary depending on the format. Maybe this is the root cause of the variation between countries - the guide is simply trying to reflect the local dining norms.

                      2. re: Ptipois

                        I can't guess at Bun Pun's meaning but Toru Okuda does in fact have 5 stars in the Tokyo guide (3 for Kojyu and 2 for Ginza Okuda).

                        The single star in Paris could mean many things - different standards or that the resto is not up to the standard of its Tokyo sisters yet. My own recollection is that Kojyu has always had 3 in the relatively short history of the Tokyo Muchelin guide, and that Ginza Okuda which is only a couple of years old, picked up 1 and then 2 stars in fairly short order - perhaps someone will correct if I'm wrong.

                        Fwiw, a Paris resident who knows the Tokyo establishments told me the cuisine is at the same high level but also noted that the private room she ate in was uncomfortably claustrophobic, even by the standards of Kojyu's old/ Ginza Okuda's current location in a basement.

                      3. re: Bu Pun Su

                        Although achieving a first star in Paris after only 4 months isn't too shabby - who knows maybe promotion next year after a full years operation.

                      4. re: PhilD

                        I missed at the 2 star leve Senderens went from two to zero.

                      5. Qui Plume la lune also has a Japanese chef.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: John Talbott

                          I didn't mention "Qui Plume la Lune" even though it has strong Japanese influences because to my knowledge (2nd hand from J.-F. Renard who also was influenced by his time in Japan) the chef-owner is French but spent time in Japan.

                          1. re: Laidback

                            Sorry, you're right Laidback, I just wanted it to be. To quote myself "Why do I say Japanesy not Japanese or fusion?; well,....for starters, the carte had items such as a "sushi" foie gras, salmon takati, green tea crusted lamb and Japanese vegetables and our waiter was definately of Asiatic origin and the chef, Jacky Ribault, who in addition to coming through the great houses of cuisine, see Taillevent, also did a stint at Shozan."

                            1. re: John Talbott

                              I am in agreement; if you didn't know otherwise the assumption would be Japanese owner or chef.

                        2. Olivier Nasti's Le Chambard in Kaysersberg got a long awaited second star. As Mangeur wrote the downside is, it's gonna be even harder to get a table. That's my takeaway. Also no more stars for Senderens...

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: souphie

                            Any opinions on KIntessence in Courcevel, which got 2 stars this year?

                            What happend to Senderens? Did they change anything this year, or did they close?

                            1. re: Giannis

                              They were bought back are are run by the traiteur Potel et Chabot, while they still do Senderens' signatures. Haven't been since then but the opinion of this Senderens lover is that the two stars have been undeserved those last few years. It might even be better now, am willing to try.