Marseille chef Alexandre Mazzia is the only chef promoted to three Michelin stars for this new edition.

None of the thirty chefs thus distinguished has been degraded this year, following a special selection due to the health measures which have imposed the closure of restaurants for several months.

Marseille chef Alexandre Mazzia, with his daring cuisine, was awarded three Michelin stars on Monday for his restaurant AM, in a new selection in France, maintained despite the closure of restaurants.

He is the only chef to be promoted in the 2021 guide to this highest gastronomic distinction, bringing the number of three-star chefs in France to 30.


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A selection as "serious and rigorous" as the previous ones

Unlike previous years, none of the three-star chefs has been demoted in this selection which is as "serious and rigorous" as in previous years, according to Michelin.

The guide ensures that the inspectors made as many visits as usual to assess the tables during the brief reopening of the restaurants between the two confinements.

Smoked-chocolate, raspberry-harissa eel: Alexandre Mazzia, 44, who was born and spent 15 years in the Congo, is the master of explosive mixtures of products "from here and from the end of the world", in plates that make explode the colors.


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Spices, at the heart of his cuisine

In his restaurant AM, he uses more than 200 spices, the “backbone” of his cuisine.

"It's a table that transports you, it is very unique and stands out in many ways," commented Gwendal Poullennec, director of the Michelin guide, to AFP.

The rise to the gastronomic summit of this former basketball player, who opened his restaurant with 22 seats in 2014, was dazzling.

He was named 2019 Gault et Millau Chef of the Year, second gastronomic guide, and his third Michelin macaroon comes two years after the second.

If the selection is less extensive than in previous years, each restaurant promoted fully deserves it, underlines Michelin.

Marsan in Paris, by chef Hélène Darroze, who sublimates products from the South-West in gourmet and modern dishes, and La Merise by Cédric Deckert in Alsace, with traditional cuisine with refined sauces, are promoted to two stars.

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"The leaders are not unworthy"

54 new addresses were awarded their first star and 33 establishments were awarded a "green" star, introduced last year, for their eco-responsible approach.

Some demotions concern restaurants that have closed or changed concept.

"This year, the chefs have really not been unworthy (...). It is time to highlight all these talents, to encourage professionals and to keep the restaurant clientele mobilized" while waiting for 'a reopening, concludes Mr. Poullennec.