An unprecedented number of restaurants run by female chefs won plaudits in the new French edition of the Michelin food guide released Monday, as the guardians of haute cuisine sought to address a glaring gender imbalance.
Eleven female-led restaurants have been added to this year’s guide to the best food in France, out of a record 75 new additions bestowed with one, two or three Michelin stars.
Among them was 24-year-old wunderkind Julia Sedefdjian, who won a star for her new restaurant Baieta, while Stephanie Le Quellec claimed her second for Parisian restaurant La Scene.
Last year’s guide had been marked by a near absence of women: only two female chefs featured, both in partnership with male colleagues. A year earlier, only one woman was among the 70 new additions to the “starred” list.
The guide’s new international director Gwendal Poullennec had promised to breathe new life into its pages this year, celebrating young talent as well as female chefs.
“It’s a reflection of the great dynamism of French gastronomy, in all regions, with establishments set up by talented young people who are often entrepreneurs who have taken risks,” Poullennec said.
Poullennec stressed last week that the Michelin reviewers were not working under any “quotas” or “lowering of the criteria,” but had simply sought to select a more diverse range of restaurants this year, both in terms of the profile of the chefs and the style of the cooking.
A large number of international chefs are also honored — many of them Japanese — while Argentine Mauro Colagreco became the only foreigner to currently hold three stars in France.
“So many emotions. Thank you! I’m so honored,” said the 42-year-old, whose Mirazur restaurant on the glitzy French Riviera ranked fourth last year on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
Chef Laurent Petit meanwhile praised the feared Michelin reviewers for having “the sense” to award him a third star for Le Clos des Sens restaurant in Annecy.
“I’m delighted to have won a third star with endive roots and a cabbage tart. Simple, simple, simple,” he said.
In one of the biggest shocks, renowned Alpine chef Marc Veyrat lost his third star, along with the Auberge de L’Ill, a restaurant in Alsace that had held three stars for 51 years.
“It’s hard for the team, it’s hard for everyone — the customers, the family,” its chef Marc Haeberlin told France 3 Alsace television.
“I don’t know how to explain this loss,” said Haeberlin, whose family has run an inn in Alsace for 150 years.
Veyrat, known as much for his trademark wide-brimmed black hat as his love of mountain herbs, said he was “terribly disappointed” that his restaurant, Maison des Bois, had been downgraded.
“I can’t understand it at all,” said Veyrat, blasting the decision as “unfair.”
When the BBC approached Caroline Chia (查慧中) in July 2018, and asked her to make arrangements so a documentary-making team could gather footage showing how global warming may be increasing typhoon intensity, she delivered everything that was in her power to provide. Chia got permission for the BBC crew to shoot inside the Central Emergency Operation Center, film the army’s disaster-relief efforts and follow mayors around as they supervised the cleaning up. “In total, it was about one week of work for my cousin — who’s my business partner — and I,” recalls Chia, who was born in Taipei but
Taiwan’s artist community was outraged when the authorities banned Lee Shih-chiao’s (李石樵) Reclining Nude (橫臥裸婦) from the 1936 Taiyang Art Exhibition (台陽美術展覽會). The Taiwan Daily News (台灣日日新報) reported that after hours of deliberation, the officials censored the piece for “contravening public morals.” Although the government did have rules on publicly displaying nude art, the state-run Taiwan Fine Art Exhibition regularly featured naked women, allowing more revealing pieces each year. On the same page, the newspaper ran a scathing criticism of the decision by an anonymous artist. “This is completely laughable … If they really thought [Reclining Nude] contravened public morals, they
John Thomson was a pioneering photographer in the 19th century and one of the first to journey to East Asia. In 1871, while in China he met Dr James Laidlaw Maxwell, a fellow Scotsman who was returning to Taiwan, where he served as a Presbyterian missionary. Maxwell’s description of Taiwan intrigued Thomson, and the photographer decided to accompany Maxwell to the island then known to Westerners as Formosa. Disembarking at Takow (today’s Kaohsiung) on April 2, 1871, Thomson brought with him the best photography equipment of his time, along with thousands of glass plates — an estimated 200kg of equipment. The
If you think Leaving Virginia is going to be Taiwan’s modern-day version of American Pie, leave after the first 15 minutes. It starts that way, an ode to those hormone-crazed teenage years as Big D (Isaac Yang, 楊懿軒) tries to lose his virginity on his 18th birthday but his Christian girlfriend rejects his advances and storms off. His best friend Zulie (Ng Siu Hin, 吳肇軒), convinces Big D that he will be rendered impotent if he doesn’t lose his virginity by the end of his 18th birthday, setting off the course of events. It feels like the rest of the film