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Strasbourg Chef Is Starry-Eyed About His New Michelin Rating

March 13, 1994|KATHIE JENKINS

In a country where Michelin stars are more important than Hollywood stars, there's been speculation for weeks in France on who would be the winners and losers in this year's most powerful guidebook awards.

And the envelopes please.

Antoine Westermann of Restaurant Buerehiesel in Strasbourg was the only chef elevated to three-star status last week--not unexpected considering the 47-year-old Alsatian chef (who mixes beer with ice cream) is highly rated by rival guidebook Gault-Millau. Still, the third star--"worth a trip" in Guide Michelin speak--means a barrage of bookings for months to come.

In the two-star category, chef Ghislaine Arabian (Restaurant Ledoyen) and chef Louis Grondard (Restaurant Drouhant) in Paris came out winners. And Jean Paul Lacombe (Restaurant Leon de Lyon) regained the second star he lost two years ago.

Roger Verge's Le Moulin de Mougins did not get back the star it lost last year; it remains at two-star status. In fact, Mougins took a beating. All three one-star restaurants in the Riviera town (Le Relais de Mougins, La Ferme de Mougins and Les Muscadins) lost stars.

Hotel dining rooms were also on the hatchet list. The Royal Gray in Cannes lost both of its stars (due to the departure of chef Jacques Chibois), the Meridien Paris was demoted from two stars to one, and the Grand Hotel Inter-Continental in Paris (chef Jacky Feon) is now starless.

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THAT'S HOLLYWOOD: France's Hollywood Canteen chain (no relation to Hollywood's Hollywood Canteen) offers things like cole "slow," quesadillas Chubby Checker, Hamburger Marylin' and the Big Sleep--turkey breast topped with ground beef.

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SMELL THE STINKING ROSES: For those who can't get enough garlic, there will be a double dose of garlic festival this year: a San Diego Garlic Festival at Balboa Park on June 4 and 5, and the Los Angeles Garlic Festival at the Federal Building in Westwood on July 9 and 10. Both festivals will feature continuous live entertainment, cooking demonstrations, local restaurants featuring their favorite garlic dishes . . . and garlic oil foot massages.

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A CLARIFICATION: Nucleus Nuance, which closed as reported in this column two weeks ago, was sold by longtime owners Bruce and Katherine Veneiro a few months before the restaurant shut down.

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