Gourmet Buzz: Figaro
Publishing a ten-page scoop Figaro Magazine’s top gastronomic journalists, Maurice Beaudoin and Francois Simon lift the lid off secrets behind the doors at Fortress Bibendum. Their weapon of mass destruction: Pascal Rémy, a disgruntled Michelin inspector who, after sixteen years loyal service, "and on the salary of a lowly instituteur," was dismissed overnight for wanting to publish his diaries, entitled (I presume) "An Inspector Calls". Haven’t they ever heard of Pepys? Our man at Michelin, Derek Brown must have, but he’s out of there very soon anyway.
I checked with a "reliable source/sauce" who’s known about this for two years. He insists Rémy is correct, especially when he says there are only six permanent inspectors to review the 10,000 restaurants in the guide, in France.
Now, before you make you next reservation you might like to look at the following list which Beaudoin & Simon composed with the help of France’s tip-top ten foodie journalists: Sebastian Demorand (Zurban), Jacques Gantié (Guide Gantié), Claude Lebey (Guide Lebey), Thibault Leclerc (Bottin Gourmand), Perico Légasse (Marianne), Vincent Noce (Libération), Gilles Pudlowski (Guide Pudlo), Jean Claude Ribault (Le Monde), Emmanuel Rubin (Optimum) and Alain Sarraute (Le Figaro).
"They have *** stars, they’re not worth it, and they’re too expensive:
Les Freres Pourcel, Jardin de Sens, Montpellier
Christian Le Squer, Ledoyen, Paris
Marc et Paul Haeberlin, Illhaeusern
Guy Martin, Grand Vefour
Jacques Lameloise, Chagny
Georges Blanc, Vonnas
Jean-Michel Lorain, Joigny
Marc Meneau, Vezelay
Relais Bernard Loiseau
Michel Trama, Puymirol
Philippe Legendre (George V, Le Cinq)
Bernard Pacaud, L’Ambroisie
Antoine Westermann, Strasbourg
These merit *** stars:
Olivier Roellinger, Cancale
Eric Fréchon, Le Bristol, Paris
Alain Dutournier, Carré des Feuillants, Paris
Frédéric Anton, Pré Catalan, Paris
Philippe Etchebest, Hostellerie de Plaisance, Saint Emilion
Régis Marcon, Saint-Bonnet-le-Froid
Alain Llorca, Mougins
Stephane Raimbault, L’Oasis, La Napoule
Jacques thorel, La Roche-Bernard
Jacques Chibois, Grasse
Oustau de Baumaniere, Les-Baux-en-Provence
Duchesse Ann, Saint Malo
So there you are, you pay your money and you take your choice. A vous de jouer/manger/nosher and make up your own mind. Let BP know what you think, it’s important to us.
And in the meantime bear in mind that after much speculation Michel Troisgros launches his Paris project, as consultant, at the bijou Hotel Lancaster, so exclusive that until now only guests could eat in the restaurant.
La Table du Lancaster,
7 rue de Berri, 8th
Métro: George V
T: 01 40 76 40 14
Born in Britain and now based in Paris, Margaret Kemp graduated from The Cordon Bleu and spent a year working and watching in the kitchens of top chefs from Sydney, Australia via Bangkok, Hong Kong, California, New York and France. Realising she would never win the coveted 3-Michelin stars, she decided to write about the people who do, the "disciples of Escoffier."