This morning Michelin announced the results of the 2016 guide for France. In the 2016 guide, Michelin has awarded a third star to Le Cinq at the illustrious Hôtel George V. Since October 2014, executive chef at Le Cinq has been Christian LeSquer, who previously held three stars for more than a decade at Le Pavillon Ledoyen in Paris. Michelin director Michael Ellis on Christian LeSquer: "Chef Christian LeSquer at Le Cinq is a true virtuoso!"
Also promoted to three stars is Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée. Ducasse's restaurant at the Plaza Athénée used to hold three Michelin stars, but after a relaunch in 2014 with a new "naturelness cuisine" menu (vegetables, fish and grains, but no meat), the restaurant was demoted to two stars in the 2015 guide. Michael Ellis on Alain Ducasse: "Alain Ducasse has introduced a bold change of direction by designing his cuisine in harmony with nature" - "The results live up to the scale of the challenge: a meal at the Plaza Athénée is a unique, memorable, and emotional experience".
Two restaurants have lost their third star: Le Meurice (Alain Ducasse) in Paris and Le Relais Bernard Loiseau in Saulieu. The demotion of Le Meurice is probably related to the departure of chef Christophe Saintagne, who announced in December 2015 that he's leaving Le Meurice to open his own restaurant "Le Papillon" in the 17th arrondissement.
With these changes the number of three-star restaurants in France remains at 26.
The 2016 guide will feature 82 two-star restaurants, with 10 new entries, including three very rare two-star debuts, the first one being Jean-Georges Klein's new restaurant Villa René Lalique in Wingen-sur-Modor (Alsace region), which opened in September 2015, and the second one being Joël Robuchon's La Grande Maison in Bordeaux, which opened in January 2015. Finally there's Mathieu Pacaud - Histoires, the second restaurant of chef Mathieu Pacaud, son of three-ster chef Bernard Pacaud (l'Ambroisie). Mathieu's second restaurant Hexagone enters the 2016 guide with one Michelin star.
Also among the 10 new entries is Jean-François Piège's new restaurant Le Grand Restaurant in Paris (opened September 2015). Piège used to hold two Michelin stars at the Hotel Thoumieux, but he left in 2015 to open his own restaurant. Jean-François Piège at Thoumieux is no longer featured in the guide. The other new two-star restaurants are: JY's in Colmar, 1920 in Megève, Paloma in Mougins, Le Gabriel, L'Abeille and Sylvestre (at Thoumieux) in Paris.
Six restaurants have been demoted to one star: L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon (Étoile) and Akrame in Paris, La Table du Kilimandjaro and Le Kintessence in Courchevel, Auberge du Pont d'Acigné in Rennes and Gordon Ramsay au Trianon in Versailles.
According to the press release, the number of one-star restaurants drops from 503 to 492 in the 2016 guide, with 42 new entries, but also 55 deletions, including the legendary Le Jardin des Sens in Montpellier. Among the winners in Paris are: The above-mentioned Hexagone, Lucas Carton, Nakatani, Neige d'Éte, Pages, and Saturne. Also worth mentioning is the Michelin star Gordon Ramsay's new restaurant in Bordeaux, Pressoir d'Argent (opened September 2015), and the star for l'Arnsbourg in Baerenthal, the restaurant that held three stars for many years under the reign of Jean-Georges Klein, who left the restaurant in 2015, and was succeeded by Philippe Labbé (previously of 2-star L'Abeille in Paris).
A full list of the 2016 guide's new stars, demotions, and deletions can be found here.
France's 2016 Bib Gourmand (3 courses for €32 or less, €36 or less in Paris) guide called 'Bonnes petites tables France' was released last month. The 2016 guide has 655 entries, with 111 new additions. A full list can be found here.