Famed Savoy Restaurant Returns to Three Stardom
PARIS (AP) _ After two years in culinary purgatory, the famed Auberge du Pere Bise in Talloires has been returned to three-stardom by the Michelin Red Guide, the bible of French gastronomy.
The re-elevation of the old family restaurant, which was reduced to two- star level in 1983, was the only change among Michelin’s top rankings in the 1985 guide, which goes on sale in bookstores March 13 for 78 francs ($7.50).
The Auberge du Pere Bise regained its third star in record time largely due ″to the tenacity of Madame Bise and her daughter, who now is in the kitchen,″ said Andre Trichot, director of the guide and head of Michelin’s team of anonymous inspectors.
″She lost the star when her husband was very ill and the kitchen became very disorganized,″ he said.
Francois Bise, owner and chef, died last year after a long illness that increasingly kept him away from his restaurant.
The auberge, founded at the turn of the century, had carried three stars for 33 years until it was demoted in 1983. In Michelin parlance, three stars means ″exceptional cuisine, worthy of a special journey.″ Talloires is on the shore of Lake Annecy in the Savoy region of southeastern France.
″We are very happy,″ Charlyne Bise said in a telephone interview Wednesday from her alpine restaurant. ″It is quite rare to recuperate a star in such a short time. We have received lots of telegrams from our clients and colleagues. We are very happy.″
″We are doing nothing different,″ said Mrs. Bise, who ran the business. ″That is, you are always doing something different, evolving. But the specialties remain the same.″
The specialties of the Auberge du Pere Bise are goose liver parfait, gratin of shrimp tails and braised chicken tarragon.
Mrs. Bise’s 22-year-old daughter, Sophie, recently began working in the kitchen, which continues the female tradition. ″It was the grandmother, Madame Marius Bise, who made the reputation of the restaurant,″ said Trichot.
″Miss Bise did not, as is in the case of many family operations, learn her trade at the family kitchen,″ he said. ″She passed through the kitchens of the great chefs. She is a young woman who did the same apprenticeship that a man does.″
The promotion of the Auberge brings to 19 the number of three-star tables in France.
The 1985 guide lists 12 promotions to the two-star level, meaning ″exceptional cooking, worth a detour.″ But 10 others were demoted.
In the one-star category, ″an especially good restaurant in its class,″ Michelin listed 536 in France, two more than in 1984.
The Michelin Red Guide was first published in France in 1900 by Andre Michelin, head of the tire manufacturing company. Though many tend to think of it in terms of gastronomy, it actually is a complete tourist guide and basically is aimed at helping the motorist.
This year, the guide added Spanish as its fifth language in the introduction, joining French, English, Italian and German.