The Stars are Falling in Paris

The people over at Michelin have spoken and Connaught restaurant in Paris, among others, has just lost its star. Well, only one of its two anyway. The previously Michelin two-starred Chef Helene Darroze lost a star for her restaurant in the sixth arrondissement of Paris while a restaurant in Languedoc gained its third star. Michelin released these and the total results by e-mail today.

Darroze won her first Michelin Star in 2001 and her second in 2003. The Alain Ducasse protégée’s cuisine is influenced by her hometown of Landes (how sweet). On an even brighter (and sweeter) note, there are some brand-spankin’-new editions to the 2010 Michelin Guide: Yam’Tcha, headed by chef Adeline Grattard and Passage 53 under Chef Shinichi Sato.

The new two-star-ers in the Michelin’s newly-released 2010 guide are as follows: Du Castellet, in Le Castellet; Les Airelles, Courchevel; Cheval Blanc, Courchevel; Sa. Qua. Na, Honfleur; Bigarrade, Paris; Anne de Bretagne, La Plaine-sur- Mer; Auberge des Glazicks, Plomodiern; Residence de la Pinede, Saint-Tropez; L’Oxalys, Val-Thorens; Chateau St-Martin & Spa, Vence.

Darroze is not the only one to lose a star this year. Both stars for Les Ambassadeurs, at the Hotel Crillon in Paris, were deleted from the new guide after Chef Jean- Francois Piege departed. Several other restaurants have unfortunately dropped to a single star such as La Villa in Calvi and Au Crocodile in Strasbourg. Gerard Besson and Bath’s, both located in Paris, lose their single stars. Let us have a moment of silence now to honor these fallen stars.

What do the stars mean anyway? Here’s the basic breakdown: Three stars mean, “Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey;” two stars equals, “Excellent cooking, worth a detour;” and lastly, one star means, “Very good cooking in its category.” Now you can feel like a pseudo-culinary expert for a few minutes. Enjoy.