Ashley TinkerTaste: Food & Drink

Eating at Michelin Star Restaurants in Provence

Robin and I have only eaten in about a handful of Michelin star restaurants. They’re a special occasion. Eating in these restaurants, depending especially on the number of stars, is longer even than the usual French dining affair. Eating in a Michelin star restaurant is not just a meal it’s an experience.

Personally, I love good quality bistro food, with a little creativity thrown in. Bistronomie. You can experience something like this in Michelin star restaurants through their lunch menus which are often surprisingly affordable. A little luxury doesn’t always have to break the bank.

Click here for Ashley’s list of Michelin Restaurants in Provence (2021) and additional information on The Guide.

Michelin Star Restaurants

The first Guide Michelin appeared in 1900 when bicycles greatly outnumbered cars on the French roads. It was a brilliant marketing plan by André and Édouard Michelin, brothers and owners of the tire manufacturing company. Their idea was to increase demand for cars and specifically tires by encouraging French drivers to get out on the road and drive, maybe to a restaurant or hotel. At first, the guidebook was offered for free, and it included useful tips for car travel, including mechanics, gas stations and maps.

Begining in 1920, the Michelin Guide was no longer offered for free (it cost seven francs). The concept of awarding stars to restaurants began in 1926. The ranking system of one, two, or three stars was established in 1936 and remains as follows:

1 Star: A very good restaurant in its category. (Une très bonne table dans sa catégorie)
2 Stars: Excellent cooking, worth a detour. (Table excellente, mérite un détour)
3 Stars: Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey. (Une des meilleures tables, vaut le voyage).

Bib Gourmand

Acknowledging that many restaurants serve “Exceptionally good food at moderate prices,” the company began publishing the Bib Gourmand in 1955. There are 49 Bib Gourmand restaurants in Provence.

Assiette Michelin

This indicates a cuisine of quality. This classification can include all kinds of establishments. Currently, there are 265 Assiette MICHELIN restaurants in Provence.

Étoile Verte

A green star is awarded to restaurants that are aiming to support biodiversity, and respect for the environment through their choice of sustainable products. These stars are often awarded to Michelin star restaurants in addition to their star distinctions. Many of these restaurants have their own kitchen gardens.

Bon Appétit!

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Ashley Tinker

Ashley Tinker

Ashley was born and raised in Montréal, Canada. She has always been drawn to the history, way of life and beauty of Europe. Her feelings for Europe were reconfirmed while studying art in Florence, Italy. Ashley says that stone buildings, colourful shutters and terra cotta tile rooftops fill her dreams and now her days.

Ashley moved to Provence in 2014 with her partner Robin (he also shares her Francophile passions). They are in search of the French joie de vivre, which they find at every turn in the local markets and natural beauty of Provence. This couple are indulging in local olives and wine as the Provencal sunshine changes craggy rocks into things of beauty.

You can see all of Ashley's blog posts on Curious Provence.

Take a look at Ashley's beautiful fine art photography on her Photographer in Provence website.

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