Top chefs launch label to laud French cuisine


Worried by declining standards in France’s famed restaurants, world-famous chefs launched a new label April 10 that will only be awarded to eateries that meet strict criteria.

The “quality restaurant” designation will be granted to establishments in any price range that meet standards set by the College Culinaire de France — a 15-member industry group founded by the country’s leading chefs.

“Of the 150,000 French restaurants, three-quarters of them do only industrial cooking,” Alain Ducasse, one of the chefs behind the initiative, said.

“The others fight to cook using fresh products and those are the ones we are looking to,” said the chef, who operates restaurants in eight countries, including three-starred eateries.

Ducasse said the label — in the form of a plaque hung up outside the establishment — would be granted to restaurants that provide information on the origins of their products, prepare their own food and offer a warm welcome.

The culinary group — which counts as members Ducasse and other famous chefs such as Joel Robuchon and Guy Savoy — will grant the label to restaurants who request it, if the establishment meets its standards.

To maintain the designation, restaurants will need to score a client satisfaction level of at least 75 percent on a website set up for the initiative.

The chefs estimate that around 10,000 restaurants are currently in a position to get the label.

David Lely, whose restaurant “Les Garcons” in Paris is one of the first to be awarded the designation, said the initiative “unites people who respect the trade” and will “push us to do even better”.