This year was a very special year for the new Michelin guide, as it was its 100th edition. The first one was issued in 1900 (no issues during the 2 World Wars and in 1921) as a promotional brochure for the Michelin tires) and it is therefore the oldest European gastronomy guide. In the first editions it only mentioned addresses of car mechanics. The first restaurants only appeared in 1920. It is now a prestigious hotel and restaurant guide covering over 20 countries and published in several languages. Over 30 millions guides were sold over all. Many city guides are now also published, Tokyo being the city with the most starred restaurants.
This year’s edition can also be purchased in a collector box or on your i-Phone. This year’s edition only added one new 3-star restaurant among the 548 happy few to receive stars, and of course, others have lost the prestigious award.
Too much pressure?
Many chefs have recently quit the painful race because of overwhelming pressure. Celebrated chef Marc Veyrat who received 3 stars for his restaurant “l’Auberge de l’Eridan” by the Annecy lake in Veyrier-du-Lac (French Alps), declined his nomination this year. A few months ago, chef Olivier Roellinger even closed his 3-star restaurant, “Maison de Bricourt” in Cancale, Brittany. These are just a few examples that show the infernal moral and physical tension bearing on these top professionals whose business highly depends on the red guide to succeed or not. When chef Bernard Loiseau committed suicide in 2003, some said it could be related to the rumour that he was about to lose one of his 3 stars.
Another criticism consists in tagging the guide of conservatism and of favoring traditional cuisine. For the fans of the guide, however, the biggest problems will be to manage to make a reservation in one of these starred restaurants. Indeed, the 548 awarded establishments attract gourmet clients from all over the world and are difficult to access.
Our selection among the new establishments in the 2009 edition:
*** star restaurants = 26 restaurants in this category (only 1 new one)
- Chef Eric Frechon , “Le Bristol”, Paris 8eme.
** star restaurants: 73 restaurants (9 new ones)
* star restaurant: 449 restaurants (63 new ones )
+ 527 bib gourmands = good value for money (meals under $45).
Clickable useful links:
The winners: Eric Frechon, Gordon Ramsay and the Auberge Basque team.