NO FRENCH restaurant has been deemed good enough to be promoted to the top three stars in this year’s Michelin Guide Rouge.
In fact the number of restaurants holding the ultimate culinary accolade has gone down, from 26 to 25, as Michel Trama of les Loges de l’Aubergade in the Lot-et-Garonne lost one of his stars.
This is the first time since 1992 that no new three-star rating has been handed out.
Mr Trama said that being a three-star chef was like being a Formula 1 driver. “I ask myself, ‘Have I hit the gravel [ie. come off the track] for good, or just for once race? Have I lost the battle or the war?’”
Gilles Goujon, of L'Auberge du Vieux Puits at Fontjoncouse in the Aude, rated three stars last year, remains the last to achieve the top level.
While it is a bad year for elite gastronomy, it was a good one for the Bib Gourmands, which are awarded to restaurants where you can eat well and inexpensively, with a record 601, of which 117 were new entries.