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In Burgundy there are 32 restaurants with Michelin star ratings, and in Franche Comté there are 11. All offer fine cuisine in beautiful surroundings.
At the start of each year, speculation begins in the press as to which restaurants will be granted star status, which will go up a notch and which, if any, will fall by the wayside when the Michelin stars are announced at the beginning of February. The power of the guide is a force to be reckoned with, and the results are taken so seriously that in some cases, very life depends on the result. In his fascinating book ‘The Perfectionist, Life and Death in Haute Cuisine’ Rudolph Chelminski, outlines the pressures on top
The Michelin Red Guide
The guides have been in existence for over 100 years. In 1900 there were fewer than 3000 cars in France but the Michelin brothers, André and Edouard, realized the potential of this new form of transport. Their aim was to sell more tyres, and, as a marketing tool to encourage people to get out and about, they published a ‘small guide to improve mobility’. This is still the principle behind the Michelin publications today.
The Michelin Guide Belgium followed in 1904 and four years later the ‘Bureau of Itineraries’ was created to provide motorists with travel information, free of charge. There was no charge either for the guide itself until André Michelin on a garage visit spied the guides propping up a workbench and decided that things were only properly valued if you had to pay for them. So a 7 franc charge was incurred in 1922.
In 1926 the first star rating came into being for fine dining. This system gradually developed to the two and three star rating still used today. One star indicates a very good restaurant in its own category; two stars show excellent cooking, worth a visit; three stars are for exceptional cuisine worth a special trip.
During WWII publication was suspended but the guides played their part in the war effort. Road signage had been destroyed in many French cities and the Allied troops feared that after the Normandy landing, the troops would not know whether to turn left or right. The Michelin Guide had excellent maps for reference so it was decided to reprint the 1939 edition in Washington DC and distribute this to the troops. This special edition was marked on the cover ‘For official use only.’
The guides got back into production in 1945. During the second half of the century the use of symbols evolved as new developments took place such as TVs and then WiFi in hotels. The Bib Gourmand category for super value for money came into being, followed by the Bib Hotels.
There are 14 editions of the guides covering 23 countries and the books are sold in 90 countries worldwide. The most recent editions have covered New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Macao.
The star rated restaurants are of course, the top of the range. The guides are packed full of useful descriptions of other restaurants and hotels all over their respective countries, and many people keep a copy in the glove compartment of the car, a bible of where to go when you are on the road so to speak.
Restaurants with three star rating in Burgundy 2015-2016
Restaurants with two star rating in Burgundy
Restaurants with one star rating in Burgundy
Restaurant with a two star rating in Franche Comté
Restaurants with a one star rating in Franche Comté