Michelin introduces new Sustainable Gastronomy accolade, a five-leaf clover, in France!


The Michelin Guide has introduced a worthy new symbol to restaurants which care about the environment. Using a five-leaf clover, it was introduced in France on 27 January 2020 for the first time, when the new symbol was awarded at its annual star event to 50 restaurants out of a total of more than 3500 Michelin-recognised restaurants. The Sustainable Gastronomy symbol will be awarded to Michelin restaurants internationally as and when the new 2020 Michelin Guides are published this year.

Today, the Guide continues its mission and is helping promote the chefs who have taken responsibility by preserving resources and embracing biodiversity, reducing food waste and reducing the consumption of non-renewable energy. This year, the MICHELIN Guide presents the first Michelin pictogram which highlights chefs committed to preserving the environment. Available to chefs whose establishment is awarded a Plate, Bib Gourmand, 1, 2 or 3 stars, this symbol completes these distinctions and highlights their courage and ingenuity in the daily practice of their profession, and therefore allows diners to better identify the restaurants which suit their needs’ states a Michelin media release.

Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of MICHELIN Guides, said: “The ambition of our approach is to amplify the scope of the good and ingenious practices of chefs by putting them in the spotlight. The ideas, methods and know-how developed by these chefs will thus help raise awareness of an entire sector to its customers and the general population.”

Paris by Mouth commented as follows about the new Michelin Sustainable Gastronomy recognition:  

When Michelin unveiled its 2020 Red Guide last week, it also launched a new, green initiative: an award for Gastronomie Durable or sustainable gastronomy. Fifty restaurants in France have earned this new distinction, including several Paris addresses. These include the three-star restaurants Arpège and Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenée, the two-star restaurant David Toutain, plus one-star restaurants Septime and Table. The precise selection criteria for the list remain slightly vague. Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the Michelin guide, tells le Parisien merely that restaurants were chosen based on their positive impact on the planet and society at large. It’s worth noting that only restaurants that already had a star were awarded with Michelin’s new “green” distinction.

This newfound attention on sustainability from one of the biggest names in French gastronomy nevertheless reflects some larger trends taking hold in the French capital, like local sourcing, reduction of single-use plastic, and even abandoning avocados

Alain Passard… he’s a legend,” says Mendoza. “He’s one of my heroes. I think that by giving this award to these restaurants, many people in my shoes who look up to these people that will think… ‘That’s great. I want to do that.’”

And for many, it’s coming not a moment too soon. Despite France’s commitment to reducing the effects of climate change, awareness of sustainability on the Parisian restaurant scene has been slow-going compared to other major metropolises where farm-to-table and vegan restaurants are now a dime a dozen.

“Most restaurateurs have other priorities,” says Martin. “But I think that clients should choose ethical establishments to encourage the entire profession to be more sustainable.”

Bertrand Grébaut’s restaurant Septime works in cooperation with an urban farm located on a former air base, relies on renewable energy, and sorts its biowaste. While he is “thrilled to be selected,” he also notes that his restaurant’s priorities are “the result of personal and professional convictions independent of distinctions.”

Grébaut also thinks that sustainability should play a role in the awarding of Michelin stars.

“The mission of the Red Guide is to recommend tables, so to me, it seems coherent to associate these recommendations with information about sustainable practices,” he says. “I hope that it’s a first step and that, in the future, it will be a criterion when it comes to rankings.”

But Grébaut may be disappointed. Poullennec tells Le Parisien that despite this new green initiative, sustainability will likely never factor into Michelin’s star ratings, noting that it “is not really part of the dining experience.”

“But in creating this ‘sustainable gastronomy’ honor, we’re spotlighting engaged chefs, to encourage a professional revolution,” he continues. “That’s really what Michelin does best: positive emulation.”

The first 50 restaurants in France to be included in the Sustainable Gastronomy Selection are: 

Le Clos des Sens, Laurent Petit
Mirazur , Mauro Colagreco
Arpège, Alain Passard
Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenée, Romain Meder
Troisgros-Le Bois sans Feuilles, Michel et César Troisgros
Régis et Jacques Marcon, Jacques Marcon
Yoann Conte, Yoann Conte
L’Oustau de Baumanière, Glenn Viel
La Bastide de Capelongue, Edouard Loubet
David Toutain, David Toutain
Le Coquillage, Hugo Roellinger
Serge Vieira, Serge Vieira
La Marine, Alexandre Couillon
Bras, Sébastien Bras
La Maison d’à Côté, Christophe Hay
La Grenouillère, Alexandre Gauthier
Christopher Coutanceau, Christopher Coutanceau
Jean Sulpice, Jean Sulpice
Hostellerie Jérôme, Bruno Cirino
Maison Aribert, Christophe Aribert
La Chassagnette, Armand Arnal
Cyril Attrazic, Cyril Attrazic
Auberge du Vert Mont, Florent Ladeyn
L’Etang du Moulin, Jacques Barnachon
Le Prince Noir-Vivien Durand, Vivien Durand
Hostellerie Bérard, Jean-François Bérard
G.A. Au Manoir de Rétival, David Goerne
Fontevraud Le Restaurant, Thibaut Ruggeri
L’Oustalet, Laurent Deconinck
Le Clair de la Plume, Julien Allano
L’Alchémille, Jérôme Jaegle
Auberge La Fenière, Reine et Nadia Sammut
Prairial, Gaëton Gentil
Le George, Simone Zanoni
Septime, Bertrand Grébaut
Table, Bruno Verjus
Le Petit Hôtel du Grand Large, Hervé Bourdon
Ursus, Clément Bouvier
Aux Terrasses, Jean-Michel Carrette
Äponem-Auberge du Presbytère, Amélie Darvas
L’Or Q’idée, Naoelle D’Hainaut
Le Moulin de Léré, Frédéric Molina
Le Bec au Cauchois, Pierre Caillet
Pertica, Guillaume Foucault
Le Tilleul de Sully, Thierry Parat
Ar Men Du, Philippe Emmanuelli
Caves Madeleine, Martial Blanchon
Le Saltimbanque, Sébastien Porquet
La Table d’Hôte , Thomas Collomb
Le Garde Champêtre, Gil Nogueira
Anona, Thibaut Spiwack


I have been fortunate to eat at Mirazur, currently the number one restaurant on the World’s 50 Best Restaurant list, Arpège (now 8th Best), and Septime (now 15th Best). 


Restaurant Review: Mirazur French foraging restaurant in Menton, 6th World’s 50 Best Restaurant, Michelin 2-star!

Restaurant Review: L’Arpège a temple to vegetables, 19th World’s 50 Best Restaurant, Michelin 3-star!

Restaurant Review: Septime understated and hidden in Paris, 50th World’s 50 Best Restaurant, Michelin 1 star!

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein


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