The Best French restaurants, the Vendée recognised for its “Belles tables”
The Vendée has some of the best French restaurants recognised by some well-known organisation. Several Michelin stars restaurants, awards from Le Gault & Millau guide, the Bib Gourmand award for good, reasonably prices food… and of course, France’s state distinction of the Maître Restaurateur… the Vendée’s gastronomic recognition.
"Assiette" Michelin star restaurants award, international recognition
The Michelin guide was created in 1900 by André and Edouard Michelin. Originally, it was a guide to the best addresses for automobile specialists and garages.
This little guide was offered as a gift when clients bought a Michelin tire, long before it had started listing the best French restaurants in different regions. And thus becoming, “the ultimate award” for chefs.
In 2016, the Michelin guide introduced the “Assiette” or “The Plate” distinction. This was awarded to restaurants with quality food, made from local and seasonal products, and created with care and expertise. The Assiette distinction can be awarded or revoked throughout the year and represents the establishments food “in real-time”.
The Michelin Star restaurant Award, gastronomic recognition
At the beginning of every year, Chefs look forward to the Michelin Star Award ceremony. The one event, that announces whether they are awarded, get to keep, or lose their precious Michelin Stars, the holy grail of gastronomic recognition. Michelin guide inspectors can award 1 to 3 Stars. Since 2020, the Michelin star restaurant guide has offered a new distinction: The Green Star. This rewards Chefs who are moving towards sustainable gastronomy that respects the environment. This can consider, for example, vegetable gardens in permaculture, vegetated terraces or even the treatment of organic waste. In Vendée, Alexandre Couillon from L’Ile de Noirmoutier, obtained this distinction for his vegetal and marine cuisine.
The 1st Michelin Star is rewarded to restaurants with "high quality cooking, worth a stop". For this, Chefs must obtain these 5 criteria:
• Product quality
• The Mastery of cooking and flavours
• The creativity and personality of the chef is represented in his dishes
• The consistency of quality, over the long-term
• Value for money.
The 2nd Michelin Star goes a little further and denotes a restaurant with “excellent cooking, worth the detour”.
And the 3rd Michelin Star promotes restaurants judged to have “exceptional cuisine, worth the journey". These Michelin star restaurants who claim this reward, receive international recognition.
Bib gourmand named after Bibendum, the friendly Michelin Man
The Bib gourmand restaurants, distinguished by the Michelin guide are friendly establishments that serve good food at reasonable prices. This distinction has existed since 1997. With Bib gourmet restaurants, a popular symbol for diners seeking good deals and quality.
Le Gault & Millau, nicknamed the yellow guide with white "toques"
Le Gault et Millau guide was founded in 1972 by Henry Gault and Christian Millau. Nicknamed the “yellow guide”, it lists the best tables, rewarding them with points ranging from 1 to 20 (20 being the highest). These points represent the quality of the food, the service, and prices. Based on this rating system, high-ranking restaurants may display one to four “toques” or chefs’ hats.
Every year this guide designates a “Chef of the year”. In 2017, Chef Alexandre Couillon restaurants La Marine and La Table d’Elise located on L’Ile de Noirmoutier, received this prestigious reward “The Best French Chef of the Year”.
Maître restaurateur a French distinction for 100% homemade cuisine
The Maître Restaurateur distinction highlights the professionalism shown by the award-winning Chefs, for producing authentic and 100% homemade cuisine. This distinction is awarded by the “Préfet”(officials) of each county (department). It is the only state distinction in the traditional catering sector.