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“Different” but “complementary”: Michelin crowns Arnaud Donckele and Dimitri Droisneau


Two chefs, two methods but three stars: the French Arnaud Donckele and Dimitri Droisneau were distinguished on Tuesday by the Michelin guide in a new selection that celebrates the vitality and resilience of French gastronomy, undermined by two years of health crisis.

Holding a “rather relaxed” gastronomy Arnaud Donckele44 years old, trained at the school of Gilles Goujon (The Old Well Inn) and Alain Ducasse (Plaza Athénée), where he invented his famous sea bass cooked on scales.

Already three Michelin stars for his restaurant in Saint-Tropez (south of France), his Parisian restaurant, opened last September and located in the heart of the Samaritaine department store, goes directly from zero to three stars.

When I arrived in Paris, it was with great humility because there are only great chefs in Paris. I didn’t think we would get there so quickly“, he said, visibly moved.

He had been distinguished cook of the year 2020 by the guide Gault and Millau.

The other chef promoted to three stars is Dimitri Droisneau, who officiates at Villa Madie in Cassis. less known thanArnaud Donckeleits restaurant gives pride of place to aromatic cuisine with maritime influences.

It’s a huge surprise. Honestly, it’s huge.” he told AFP in the wake of his award. “You know, we have kept a very innkeeper dimension, we are very close to our customers, we have always worked for our customers, and the feedback has been good. But this is crazy.

few women

Two Heads”different” corn “complementary“, underlined the boss of the red guide Gwendal Poullennec from AFP, renting from Arnaud Donckelea master who took the concept to the point of reversing the relationship between sauces and food” and an “poetic cuisine” for Dimitri Droisneau.

While he also praised a high-quality selection, which shines the whole of France – 80% of the stars are located outside the Paris region – he nevertheless deplored the low presence of female chefs to be promoted (3 among the 49 new officers).

As in the 2021 vintage, no three-star chef has been downgraded.

It should be noted that several established chefs are rewarded witha star for their new establishments: Helene Darroze at Villa La Coste, Mauro Colagreco in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, Anne-Sophie Pic in Megève or Philippe Etchebest in Bordeaux.

A way for the red guide to salute the resilience of those who have not abandoned their project despite two years of health crisis.

Among the newcomers, the highly publicized John Imbertwho took over the kitchens of the Parisian palace Plaza Athénée in September, succeeding the most starred chef in the world Alain Ducasse. A succession which had been criticized, Mr. Imbert not being holder of a Michelin star. It is now done.

Green Star Boom

Another chef to be promoted, the Martinican Marcel Ravinawarded two stars for its restaurant in Monaco, which brings Caribbean cuisine to life.

On the side of the green stars, Mr. Poullennec welcomed the arrival of six new restaurants this year, making France the leading country in number of eco-responsible establishments.

Thought like “a moment of reunion for the entire profession“, this edition is also an opportunity for the gastronomic guide to renew itself after a lackluster year, where it had been criticized for having maintained its selection despite the Covid-19 and the closure of restaurants.

If he does not deny that the year has been tough for the profession, the guide affirms that his criteria have not changed and that the inspectors have made as many visits as usual to evaluate the tables.

We have adapted our schedule (the selection was initially scheduled for January, editor’s note) but we have remained in full compliance with our values ​​and our method.“, had reminded AFP the director Gwendal Poullennecdirector of the red guide.

Last year, only one chef, Alexandre Mazziahad been promoted to three stars, the highest distinction in the gastronomic world.

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