France (quelle surprise) tops the charts, with a whopping 600 starred restaurants, followed by Japan with 419, Italy with 333, and Germany with 290. But the UK comes next with 163, piping the USA (148), Belgium (129), Switzerland (116) and Netherlands (107). Hong Kong and Macao, which feature in the same guide, punch well above their weight with a combined 77. A further 13 countries are rated by Michelin's inspectors.
The ratings 1-3 stars are highly sought after and the guide is studied as carefully as football fans look at the league results, to see the winners & losers. The definitions below are a little antiquated – I love the understated idea that a 2* restaurant is ‘worth a detour’
1* A very good restaurant in its category
2* Excellent cooking, worth a detour
3* Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey
One of the main reasons you choose the Alps for your luxury ski holiday year after year is not only for the amazing cuisine served up in your luxury ski chalet but also the tremendous options in resort for first class dining at high altitude.
In 2017 26 restaurants in France were deemed to be worthy of the top prize of 3* and of these 3 have been awarded to restaurants in the Alps - in Megève the celebrated Les Flocons de Sel has held 3 * since 2012 and in 2015 it was joined by the lovely La Bouitte in St Martin de Belleville. This year (2017) the big news, is that chef Yannick Alleno who had 2* for Le 1947 au Cheval Blanc was awarded his third star. A particularly stunning achievement as he also holds 3* for his Paris restaurant, Le Pavillion Ledoyen.
However if formal fine dining suits neither your palate nor wallet, the Michelin guide also includes a category known as ‘Le Bib” which denotes restaurants offering "exceptional good food at moderate prices”. You will be delighted to know that there are lots of these in our resorts including Le Cepe in Méribel, L’Atmosphere in Chamonix and Flocons Village in Megève.
And don’t forget the local specialities – nothing beats a fondue in Switzerland or a delicious plate of tartiflette in France and the best pudding at any skiers’ lunch in Austria has to be Kaiserschmarrn
Do check out our resort restaurant guides and ask you SkiBoutique PA for recommendations for your chosen luxury ski resort, but wherever you eat, bon appétit.