A three-star restaurant, as defined by the Michelin Guide, is worth travelling to, by a long drive or perhaps even by plane.
Foodies might have to travel far and high, to reach the sole new addition to the list of French restaurants with three Michelin stars, as designated by the 2017 guide.
Le 1947 is perched in the ski town of Courchevel in the French Alps, and is owned by LVMH magnate Bernard Arnault who consecrated space in his luxury resort, the Cheval Blanc, for the culinary vision of chef Yannick Alleno.
“The image from my dream, I told them (shareholders of restaurant owner Bernard Arnault’s company), is a restaurant today, in the mountains, a real reflection of it, the cuisine I want to create, it’s that. He told me, ‘Yannick, we are going to do it here,'” Alleno said in Paris on Thursday (February 9), in a ceremony honoring the newly-starred restaurants.
Alleno earned three Michelin stars for Paris restaurant Pavillon Ledoyen in 2007.
Michelin Guides’ International Director Michael Ellis said Alleno’s cuisine in the Courchevel restaurant manages to turn local produce into the sublime.
The surroundings of Le 1947, Alleno said, allow him to do research on local produce and techniques of extracting the best sauces.
He said his work revolves around the principle of a “vertical column,” wherein the different elements of a dish are harmonised, with the primary pillar being the sauce. His creations are known for merging taste with dietary benefits.
“Today we have the ability to create extraordinary dishes, with purity. I think the sauce is 80 percent of a dish’s appeal. It’s the ‘verb’ of French cuisine. It’s thanks to the sauce that the elements of a dish speak to each other, and it’s thanks to the sauce that we can appreciate a good wine,” Arnault said.
The criteria for a Michelin star include high quality products, fine cooking, consistency of the meals and service, and the chef’s personality reflected in the cuisine.
Le Clarence in Paris’ swanky eighth district was awarded two stars, a year after it opened.
Housed in a 19th century mansion owned by Prince Robert of Luxembourg, its chef Christophe Pele offers contemporary cuisine inspired by classical cooking.
On the menu these days are mullet gnocchi, sole in bacon, and lamb with artichokes and black truffle.
“A chef, what he gives, is what he feels inside. On a daily basis, we try to do this. (To give) this generosity, the love, the passion, what else do you need? It’s already a lot,” Pele said.
The Michelin Guide France 2017 features 616 restaurants, and 70 of them have just earned one or more stars.