PARIS - The revered Michelin guide elevated just one restaurant to three-star status in its 100th edition released Monday: Le Bristol, down the street from the French president's Parisian palace.
The guide, started as an aid for French motorists, is celebrating a century of culinary tips by making itself available to i-Phone users and with promotional offers such as tours of hallowed wine cellars in its starred restaurants.
The 2009 guide to France lists 548 restaurants, 26 of which garnered the top status of three stars. Le Bristol is the only new listing in that category. One three-star listing disappeared from the guide entirely this year, Maisons de Bricourt.
Michelin Guide stars, which can make or break careers and restaurants, are determined by anonymous inspectors who taste food, visit kitchens and check plates, cutlery, glasses and even bathrooms.
Several chefs have opted out of Michelin's system in recent years, saying the personal and financial investment needed to maintain its standards only pays off for restaurants with a large and fast turnover.
Nine new two-star restaurants and 63 new one-star restaurants were also announced in the latest version.
The guide's first edition was released in 1900, but it didn't come out during the two World Wars or in 1921.
The Michelin guide is published by the French tire company and is considered the bible of French gastronomy. From its start in France, it now publishes guides covering 22 countries.