62 new French restaurants join Michelin Guide's galaxy of stars

The Michelin Guide has unveiled its annual list of the best French restaurants, praising the 'cultural dynamism' of a new generation of chefs, though again only a handful of women have been honoured.

After a long period of resting on the laurels of its gastronomic reputation, France has seen a flourishing of new establishments in the last decade or so, absorbing international ideas and with a greater focus on sustainability.

Two restaurants achieved the highest pinnacle of three stars at the annual ceremony, this year held in the Loire Valley city of Tours: Le Gabriel in Paris and La Table du Castellet in the southern Provence region.

A total of 62 restaurants were awarded at least one star – most joining the Michelin ranks for the first time, including 23 that have been open for less than a year.

Among the innovative restaurants earning a star were Nhome in Paris, where there is only one table for 20 guests in a vaulted cellar opposite the Louvre, and Espadon at the Ritz, where chef Eugénie Béziat has brought daring African fusion dishes into the historic hotel.

Reflecting the continued male dominance of the industry, Béziat was one of just six women chefs being awarded a star on Monday.

At just 35, he is currently the youngest chef in France with three stars.

"It's an enormous challenge every day and I'm so glad to be able to experience this moment with my colleagues," Ferré told the AFP newswire.

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