French gastronomy strikes back with own top restaurants list

PARIS (Reuters) - France struck back at foreign “world’s best restaurants” listings that ignore French restaurants with a list of its own in which five of the 10 top chefs are French.

French Chef Joel Robuchon attends the opening of the Taste Festival at the Grand Palais in Paris, France, May 21, 2015. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

“La Liste” ranks the world’s top 1,000 restaurants by aggregating scores of some 4,000 establishments in more than 200 international guidebooks and websites, including France’s Gault-Milau and Michelin but also newspaper rankings, food blogs and customer-review based sites such as Tripadvisor.

The list is an initiative from the French foreign ministry’s tourism council and will be presented by Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Thursday.

“What is missing is an objective ranking of global gastronomy,” said Philippe Faure, a French diplomat in charge of tourism promotion and head of the Tables of Five Continents association that publishes La Liste.

The top restaurant in the list is Lausanne, Switzerland-based Le Restaurant de l’Hotel de Ville, run by French-born chef Benoit Violier.

Guy Savoy in Paris is ranked 4th, Maison Troisgros in Roanne 8th, l’Auberge du Vieux Puits in Fontjoucouse 9th, and in 10th spot is the Tokyo-based restaurant of French chef Joel Robuchon.

Leading British reviewer “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants” only includes five French restaurants, with the first one - the Mirazur in Menton - at 11th place.

Its top restaurant, El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain, only comes in at 6th place in the French list.

“The international rankings are not always transparent or objective and we observe that they have a bias towards playing down French gastronomy,” said Florian Escudie, a French foreign ministry tourism advisor.

La Liste includes 127 Japanese, 116 French, 97 American and 73 Chinese restaurants, as well as more than 50 Spanish and German establishments.

The full rankings will be available on from Thursday.

Reporting by Raphael Bloch, writing by Geert De Clercq, editing by David Evans