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It’s a rare accomplishment for a restaurant to earn three Michelin Stars, and only nine of them, located in seven different countries worldwide, achieved that honor during 2016 — these nine joined 118 other fine dining establishments that retained their three-star status during the same time. In total, of the 3,031 restaurants that currently hold one or more stars, only 127 — or about 4% of them — grabbed top honors. Each year, new local guides with updated ratings are rolled out on a staged basis.
The Michelin Guide has been in existence since 1900 and has been awarding stars to restaurants since 1926. In 1931, it expanded its awards to include one, two and three stars, with three stars meaning a restaurant has “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.” The Michelin Guide came to the US with the 2006 edition, which rated New York City area restaurants. Four were awarded three stars in that first guide, and three of them still retain that status — Le Bernardin, Jean Georges and Per Se. The fourth, Alain Ducasse at the Essex House, closed in 2007.
This year, only one American restaurant — Quince in San Francisco — moved up to three stars. Here’s a rundown of the nine newbies, presented below in alphabetical order:
1. L’atelier De Joël Robuchon
Location: 8 Sentosa Gateway, Sentosa Island, Singapore
Dinner Price: 10-course chef’s menu for $225 per person
Typical Dish: Grilled Wagyu hanger steak with preserved shallots and celeriac
The Chef: Executive Chef Michael Michaelidis was inspired by his aunt, who had a restaurant in the Netherlands. He has previously worked at La Palme d’Or at Grand Hyatt Cannes Hôtel Martinez and with Alain Ducasse at Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse à l’Hôtel de Paris in Monte Carlo and Spoon in Hong Kong.
2. Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée
Location: 25 Avenue Montaigne, Paris, France
Dinner Price: Garden-Marine menu of three courses, cheeses and dessert for $400 per person
Typical Dish: Atlantic sea bass with truffled braised chicories and amaranth
The Chef: Head Chef Romain Meder, a native of Franche-Comté (near the border of France and Switzerland), did a spices-cuisine turn in the British West Indies and worked at Hélène Darroze and Potel et Chabot in Paris before joining with Alain Ducasse.
3. Le Cinq
Location: Four Seasons Hotel George V, 31 Avenue George V, Paris, France
Dinner Price: Nine courses for $327 per person
Typical Dish: Prawns from Brittany with warm mayonnaise and crunchy buckwheat pancake
The Chef: Christian Le Squer is a native of Burgundy and has done his own Tour de France, learning from well-known chefs such as Michel Moret, Joel Renty, Marc Meneau and Philippe Groult.
Location: M Floor Holim Art Center, 317 Dosan-daero, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Dinner Price: Typical set dinner begins at about $160 per person
Typical Dish: Radish kimchi with oysters and Haemul Pajeon
The Chef: Executive Chef Kim Byoung Jin began cooking in the military. After culinary school, he worked in Korea’s first fusion restaurant and spent the past 13 years honing his modern take on traditional Korean food.
Location: Per Henrik Lings Alle 4 (8th floor), Parken National Stadium, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
Dinner Price: 20-plus courses for $285 per person
Typical Dish: Salted hake sliver doused in buttermilk flecked with parsley stems and Finnish caviar
The Chef: Chef Rasmus Kofoed trained at the Hotel D’Angleterre in Copenhagen, then worked in the Michelin two-star restaurant, Scholteshof, in Belgium.
Location: Schweigaardsgt. 15b 0191, Oslo, Norway
Dinner Price: Seasonal menu at $370 per person
Typical Dish: Langoustine on a bed of last year’s spruce tips
Chef: Head Chef Esben Holmboe Bang has staged at Le Canard and Feinscmecker and worked with Chef Jakob Mielcke at Mielcke and Hurtigkarl.
Location: 470 Pacific Ave., San Francisco, California
Dinner Price: 8 courses for $220 per person
Typical Dish: Garganelli with lobster, black cabbage and black trumpet mushrooms
Chef: Chef Michael Tusk trained at the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, staged for chefs in Piedmont and elsewhere in Europe and cooked at Stars and Chez Panisse.
8. The Table, Kevin Fehling
Location: Shanghaiallee 15, 20457 Hamburg, Germany
Dinner Price: Eight courses for $206 per person
Typical Dish: Saddle of lamb with orange Hollandaise and anchovy paste, olive stuffed with Brie de Meaux, rosemary jus
Chef: Chef/Owner Kevin Fehling gained three Michelin stars at La Belle Epoque in Lubcek before opening The Table in 2015.
9. La Yeon
Location: The Shilla Seoul, 249, Dongho-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Dinner Price: Four courses for $105 per person, with other set menus available
Typical Dish: Rice porridge with codfish and a side of dried pollock floss and kimchi water
Chef: Chef Kim Sung Il began his career as a Shilla Seoul hotel cook during the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
What are some of your favorite restaurants? Tell us about them, below.
Featured image courtesy of Quince.
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