To Hell with the Stars

To Hell with the Stars

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“Thanks, but no thanks, take back your stars”, begs Alain Senderens. The 65 year old superchef, considered one of the Masters of planet gastronomy has had enough of cooking to “formula Michelin” and, next Tuesday, will hand in his etoiles, close his Belle Epoque restaurant, Lucas Carton and, for la rentree, re-open a modern brasserie with prices divided by 3. Attention! Still expect to fork out about 100€ (and lets hope Senderens keeps the Art Nouveau tableware, darling).

 

So Senderens is follows See the REAL Europe with Rail Europein the footsteps of Nico Ladenis and Marco White, who, together with gorgeous Gordon Ramsay think Michelin is “all bullshit”!  Chef of the century Joel Robuchon, “saddened by the backward looking ostentatious criteria for luxury” asked not to have his Paris and Monte Carlo restaurants included in the Red Guide last year.

 

“It’s a matter of finance really”, explains superchef Michel Guerard from his elegant Les Pres d’Eugenie, spa/ country house hotel and restaurant in the Landes region. “I had Alain Senderens on the telephone this morning, I told him he’s an old salop for doing this before me! But, on reflection, I think I’ll try and hang on to my 3-stars for another few years, then I will have had them for 33 years: I was born in 1933! Haute cuisine is now like haute couture, we need fortunes to keep going, and make any money. I told that to Prime Minister Raffarin last week, taxes are killing French gastronomy. That’s why so many 3-star restaurants are now located in rich Palace hotels, with Cesar Ritz and Auguste Escoffier, where it all began!”

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Born in Hampton, Middlesex, UK, Margaret Kemp is a lifestyle journalist, based between London, Paris and the world. Intensive cookery courses at The Cordon Bleu, London, a wedding gift from a very astute ex-husband, gave her the base that would take her travelling (leaving the astute one behind) in search of rare food and wine experiences, such as the vineyards of Thailand, 'gator hunting in South Florida, learning to make eye-watering spicy food in Kerala;pasta making in a tiny Tuscany trattoria. She has contributed to The Guardian, The Financial Times Weekend and FT. How To Spend It.com, The Spectator, Condé Nast Traveller, Food & Travel, and Luxos Magazine. She also advises as consultant to luxury hotels and restaurants. Over the years, Kemp has amassed a faithful following on BonjourParis. If she were a dish she'd be Alain Passard's Millefeuille “Caprice d'Enfant”, as a painting: Manet’s Dejeuner sur l’herbe !

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