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Chef Anne-Sophie Pic, of Maison Pic, is the only woman in the country whose restaurant was awarded three stars.

Gowri Chandra
February 05, 2018

On Monday, the Michelin Guide announced two new three-star restaurants, five new two-star restaurants and a whopping fifty new one-star restaurants for France. There aren’t really many surprises here: Both chefs who clinched three stars this year are repeat Michelin winners. Chef Christophe Bacquié, of the Castellet Hotel in Var, France, got his first in 2002 and his second in 2007. At the Castellet, a five-star hotel an hour west of St. Tropez, he channels Spanish- and Italian-inspired fare.

Then there’s Marc Veyrat, who also was crowned three stars for his La Maison des Bois, a cozy Alpine restaurant in Haute-Savoie, near the Swiss border. Veyrat has won three stars twice before, for each of his two other restaurants; he’s best known for his Alpine-inspired cooking that uses mountain tubers, flowers and herbs. (He made the news in 2015 for razing 75,000 square feet of protected forest near his restaurant; in his defense, he wasn’t looking for produce but was actually building a school for children.)

Conspicuously—but predictably—absent in the winner’s circle were female chefs. Chef Anne-Sophie Pic, of eponymous restaurant Maison Pic, is currently the only woman in the country who’s at the head of a three-starred restaurant. As reported by French publication Le Point, the only two other women on the stage today when the winners were announced were accompanying their male partners.

One chef will be celebrating a loss. Specifically, Chef Sébastien Bras of Le Suquet à Laguiole became the first to have his three Michelin stars stripped from him, as he requested. “This was a beautiful challenge and a source of great satisfaction... but there’s a huge pressure as a result of our three-star status, which we’ve held since 1999,” he says. “Today, we want to proceed with a free spirit and without stress, to offer a cuisine and service that represents that spirit and our land.”

Aside from Le Suquet, all other three star restaurants maintained their status.

The ceremony comes on the heels of the death of foundational chef Paul Bocuse, who French president Emmanuel Macron had called “the incarnation of French cuisine.” The 200+ attendees gave him a standing ovation.

The full list of 621 starred restaurants will be released this Friday.