Michelin Guide Awards First US Female Chef with Three Stars


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  • Dominique Crenn has become the first woman in the United States to receive Michelin Guide's highest honor of three stars.
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  • The French-born chef was recognized Thursday when Michelin published its yearly rating of top restaurants in the San Francisco area.
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  • Her restaurant, Atelier Crenn, has been praised for its creative and artistic offerings since it opened in 2011.
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  • A year ago, Michelin gave Atelier Crenn a two-star rating. Its rise to three stars was unanimous among the travel guide's food critics. They praised the restaurant for its "top-quality experience," noted Gwendal Poullennec, Michelin Guide's international director.
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  • Crenn's food, he said, shows a "wonderful balance of...artistry, technical ability and taste."
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  • Crenn is a small eatery with only eight tables. It offers a tasting menu for $335.
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  • Dominque Crenn is the fifth female chef in the world to head a Michelin three-star restaurant. The other chefs are Carme Ruscalleda in Spain, Anne-Sophie Pic in France, Nadia Santini in Italy and Clare Smyth in Britain.
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  • Atelier Crenn and Single Thread are the only three-star restaurants in the San Francisco Bay area. They join six other businesses on the guidebook's list of top Bay-area restaurants for 2019. Their food is "worth a special journey," Michelin said.
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  • The latest San Francisco guidebook will go on sale on December 4.
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  • For the second time in two years, San Francisco and the nearby wine-producing areas of Napa and Sonoma have more three-star restaurants than New York City, which has five.
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  • New York still has a lot of top restaurants, said Poullennec. She added there are more restaurants there with one, two or three Michelin stars than in San Francisco.
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  • Michelin Guide awarded stars to 76 New York restaurants earlier this month, compared with 57 in the San Francisco area.
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  • The identity of Michelin's food critics is always kept secret. A restaurant must be visited by several critics before it is recognized with any stars.
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  • The Michelin Guide began in France in the early 20th century for drivers who needed places to stop.
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  • I'm Susan Shand.
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  • The Reuters news agency reported this story. Susan Shand adapted it for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor.
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  • Words in This Story
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  • chef - n. one who cooks professionally
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  • unanimous - adj. everyone agreed
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  • journey - n. a trip
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  • menu - n. a list of foods that may be ordered