Small French island restaurant wins 3-star Michelin ranking

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Small French island restaurant wins 3-star Michelin ranking
French chef Alexandre Couillon works in the kitchen of his restaurant La Marine in Noirmoutier-en-l'Ile, western France in 2016 (Photo by LOIC VENANCE / AFP)

A restaurant tucked away in the corner of a small French island won a coveted three-star ranking in the latest edition of the Michelin Guide unveiled on Monday.


La Marine is headed by 47-year-old chef Alexandre Couillon, who has happily overcome the fact that his surname means "half wit" in French.

Tasting his exquisite seafood and vegetables means travelling to the small island of Noirmoutier in the Bay of Biscay and then out to its farthest point.


"It is the perfect illustration of a meal that is worth the trip," the head of the guide, Gwendal Poullennec, told AFP.

Along with his wife Celine, who handles front-of-house duties, Couillon has created an experience that is "sincere and radiant", he added.

La Marine becomes one of only 29 restaurants in France to hold Michelin's top three-star ranking in the latest guide, which was unveiled in a ceremony in the eastern city of Strasbourg. 

READ MORE: 5 eco-friendly French restaurants from the new Michelin guide

Last week, Michelin made the shock announcement that Guy Savoy, repeatedly named the best chef in the world by global review aggregator La Liste, had been downgraded to two stars at his Monnaie de Paris restaurant.

Like many of the most celebrated eateries of the moment, La Marine has a stripped-back vibe and menus that are guided by the seasons and local produce, much of it coming direct from the fishing boats of the port it overlooks.

Couillon took over the family restaurant in 1999. He received his first Michelin star in 2007 and was named cook of the year by a rival guide, Le Gault et Millau, in 2016.


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troggy85 2023/03/07 09:03
"Remote"? In the Bay of Biscay? It's at the NW tip of Vendée. You drive over a bridge. In fact at low tide you can drive over a causeway.

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