Thursday, October 22, 2015

San Francisco Michelin 2016

It’s been ten years since the Michelin guide arrived in San Francisco (and I started writing about it!) so I guess it’s the right time for reflection. Ten years ago the stars seemed to go to very predictable and somewhat French-inspired restaurants. This year the balance has swung to favor the new, the modern and the diverse. Is it Michelin or San Francisco? It’s probably a bit of both. Though I'm sorry for some of those restaurants left behind that lost their stars because I believe they are still worthy I can't help but be excited by this new constellation. 

While some were making a big deal over Manresa getting three stars, Commis and Campton Place rising to two stars or Kin Khao getting one, I think the really big news was the ever expanding number of restaurants on the list. An incredible 39 restaurants got a star this year with another 12 getting either 2 or 3 stars. That’s truly worth celebrating! 

Here are some highlights from the party—photos courtesy of Lee Sherman 

The evening always involves plenty of champagne...

Two gorgeous restaurateurs who both earned the respect of their peers, Cecilia Chang and Chef Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn and Petite Crenn.

Pim Techamuanvivit was one of the true stars of night, she’s had a tough year and Kin Khao’s one star was well deserved. While some may consider it an expensive Thai restaurant, Kin Khao has now got to be considered as one of the least expensive Michelin one star restaurants. 

Everyone loves a redemption story and Manresa coming back after the fire to earn three stars put David Kinch in the spotlight, here with pastry chef Belinda Leong who spent some time in his kitchen before making an even bigger splash with B. Patisserie

Three of my favorite chefs for the way they balance tradition and creativity while always striving for excellence— Stuart Brioza of State Bird Provisions and The Progress James Syhabout of Commis and Hawker Fare and David Barzelay of Lazy Bear. 

From what I think is the finest Italian restaurant in San Francisco, Acquerello, Riccardo Menicucci and Suzette Gresham Tognetti. 

Aaron London of AL's Place is a chef who takes chances, his next gamble? Decreasing reservations and allowing for even more walk ins. Bravo! My review of his restaurant is currently on Amy's Fork in the Fog 

Who says chefs are all work and no play? Well no one who comes to the Michelin gala! Until next year...