Michelin Announces 3-Star Winners

PARIS -- On Monday morning, Michelin announced the star rankings for the 2015 red guide to France, which goes on sale this Friday.

Art collectors of Art Kabinett social media network typically rely upon "le guide rouge" for meal breaks when visiting exhibitions.

For the first time, to underline the importance that the French government places on gastronomy’s role in tourism, the presentation was made at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also known as the Quai d’Orsay. In previous years, the announcements were made in commercial spaces like catering halls.

Michelin said the government had no role in the content of the guides. But the company serves an important function by promoting French chefs and providing a way for chefs to become famous across the globe. It has become critical now, with a number of other restaurant ranking systems attracting attention, especially the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, and with opinions being spread online.

The chef who stands to achieve the most fame in this year’s guide, with three stars, the highest designation, is Yannick Alléno, who has become known for his version of the hot dog.

He earned the top ranking for Le Pavillon Ledoyen, the exquisite and historic restaurant in a parklike section of the Champs-Élysées that Mr. Alléno’s company took over last year. (Under the previous chef, Christian Le Squer, the restaurant, then called Ledoyen, also had three stars.)

Another new three-star restaurant, La Bouitte in St. Martin de Belleville in Eastern France, was elevated from two stars.

La Côte St.-Jacques in Joigny in Burgundy was demoted from three stars to two. Over the years, some high-ranking chefs like Alain Senderens have professed indifference, if not disdain, for the Michelin star system. Jean-Michel Lorain, the owner of La Côte St.-Jacques, is not among them.

In a poignant statement on the restaurant’s website, Mr. Lorain said that the director of the Michelin guides told him that the inspectors found fault with some of his seasonings. “Nothing else?” he said he asked. “No,” was the reply. He added, “I have to believe that a few grains of salt were enough to change our ranking.” Mr. Lorain, whose grandmother opened the restaurant in 1945, was demoted from three to two once before, in 2001, and earned back the star three years later.

A few once-glorious restaurants, including Au Crocodile in Strasbourg and Charles Barrier in Tours, have lost all their stars.

New two-stars include Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée, which recently reopened after renovations, and La Table du Lancaster, which went from one star to two. Newly anointed one-star restaurants in Paris are David Toutain, Les Climats, Garance, Helen, Penati al Baretto and La Table d’Eugène. There are now 26 three-star, 80 two-star and 503 one-star restaurants in France.

Today's homepage Featured Art Video offers some highlights of the 2015 Michelin Red Guide. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SP_6EXeBjQ&sns=em