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Scaling New Heights



Anne-Laure MONDESERT -

French culinary superstar Yannick Alleno scaled new heights on Thursday as his Alpine restaurant Le 1947 won a third Michelin star, making him a six-star chef.

Alleno, 48, tweeted that he was “beyond happiness” over the honour for his kitchen in the exclusive ski resort of Courchevel, which received a flurry of other Michelin nods this year.

Le 1947 — named for the most prized vintage of the Cheval Blanc, a top Saint Emilion Bordeaux — is the restaurant at the five-star Cheval Blanc hotel in Courchevel, where menus range in price from 127 to 450 euros ($135-$480) — not including wine.

Owned by the LVMH luxury group, Le 1947, with dishes such as steamed scallops with celery extract and caviar, is the only table to win the top three-star accolade this year.

Alleno already boasts three Michelin stars at his Paris restaurant, Le Pavillon Ledoyen.

The selections of the Guide Michelin France, based on anonymous visits, are awaited with trepidation by chefs and with fervour by food lovers.

With the addition of Le 1947, the 2017 Michelin guide has 27 three-star restaurants, 86 with two stars — including 12 new ones — and 503 with one star, 57 of them new.

Michael Ellis, the French-American international director of the foodie bible, said the number of new stars has risen steadily for the past several years, reflecting the “vitality of French gastronomy in a complicated economic context”.

Alleno has directed Le 1947, an intimate 22-seat restaurant that is open from December to April, since 2008, offering “an extremely technical, creative and tasty cuisine”, Ellis said.

Courchevel, a magnet for the international glitterati, has “one of the biggest per-capita concentrations of (Michelin) stars” with a collective total of 14, Ellis noted.

Two of them, Le Montgomerie and Le Kintessence, both recovered a second star they had lost in last year’s edition of the guide after chef Nicolas Sale left and moved to the Ritz in Paris.

Sale, now running the Table de l’Espadon at the newly-reopened Ritz, won a second star in the 2017 Michelin Guide.

Ritz rival Le George V, home of the three-star Le Cinq restaurant lorded over by Christian Le Squer, won stars for two other tables within the same house, making it the first hotel in Europe to boast three Michelin-starred restaurants.

Foreign chefs to win Michelin glory this year included Masayoshi Hanada of Sushi B in Paris, while standout British chef Gordon Ramsay earned a second star for his Bordeaux restaurant Pressoir d’Argent.

Also in the southwestern wine capital, La Grande Maison restaurant regained its second star after chef Pierre Gagnaire replaced Joel Robuchon.

While Michelin-starred restaurants tend to be out of reach for most diners, Ellis pointed to several eateries in

the 2017 edition that are easy

on the wallet.

They include the one-star Auberge Tiegezh in the Brittany town of Guer, with a lunchtime menu costing 25 euros, and the one-star Restaurant H in Paris, with its 30-euro lunches and 50-euro dinners.

“There has been a trend among chefs to favour uncomplicated dishes with often simple ingredients, local and in season, with short menus that change frequently,” Ellis said.

“It’s both ecological and economical.”

This year’s edition goes on sale on February 15, with a print run of some 150,000.

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