Burgundy Stars: A Year in the Life of a Great French Restaurant

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9780316199933: Burgundy Stars: A Year in the Life of a Great French Restaurant

When chef Bernard Loiseau bought the restaurant-hotel La Cote d'Or in Burgundy, he vowed to make it a gastronomic paradise. More than a decade later, his famed restaurant has become one of the fewer than 20 restaurants that the Michelin Guide recommends with two stars. Photos.

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From Publishers Weekly:

The Michelin Guide's annual ratings of the restaurants of France occupy a place as august in gourmet annals as the pronouncements of the Academie Francaise on the French language are for the literati. The guide's secret surveillance and standards of perfection denied its highest ratings to most of the 10,772 restaurants and hotels it listed in 1992, with only 19 awarded its coveted three stars. One of these was Bernard Loiseau's La Cote d'Or, in the Burgundian town of Saulieu. How this perfection-mad chef set out to win his stars is described by Fortune correspondent Echikson, who spent a year in Loiseau's kitchen and on buying trips with his staff. The book is not so much about food as about "a country trying to maintain and improve upon its traditions" in a time of global homogenization that, some fear, may mean the end of the great French cuisine. Echikson details the tireless searches through the Burgundian countryside for perfect native cheeses, breads, wines, snails, jams and vegetables, and such critical decisions as whether to use Greek frogs' legs or Spanish tomatoes. Here is an exuberant portrait of a still vibrant art in which perfection, not money, is the motivating force for an array of obsessed and inspired individuals. Bon appetit!
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

What does it mean to receive a three-star restaurant rating in the Michelin Guide? To Bernard Loiseau, chef-owner of La Co{"}te d'Or in Saulieu, France, it means everything. His bid for the third star is the story behind veteran journalist Echikson's 12-month account of this famed Burgundy restaurant. Loiseau's entire staff is mobilized to improve its offerings and seek out the best. Senior waiter Eric scouts for the finest goat cheese and Epoisses, wine steward Lyonel Leconte studies day and night for the Best Young Sommelier Award, and the chef himself (with wife Dominique) secures a $3 million expansion loan, again based on projected revenues a third Michelin star will generate. Characters are well described, even engaging, and readers are quickly spellbound by the frenetic pace and intrigue that mark a successful restaurant. All this flurry in pursuit of fame and fortune in the food world--to be enjoyed for a mere $200 per person. Barbara Jacobs

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