The Gault&Millau Guide of Courses, issued in 1969 by Henri Gault and Christian Millau, two journalists and food critics, remains faithful to the principles and values of the new cuisine. To keep pace with current developments just like 50 years ago, Gault&Millau is always adapting to the major challenges of the moment.
Today the Gault&Millau trademark encompasses an annual French guide, 8 regional guides, more than 4,000 artisans, a Wine Guide, a Champagne Guide, 18 licenses worldwide, the GaultMillau Academy established by chefs who have been promoting French gastronomy for over 25 years and the 109 [Young Blood], the guide highlighting 109 young chefs, embodying the revival of French gastronomy in Paris and the PoP by Gault&Millau offering a selection of atmospheric spots of the moment. Furthermore, the Gault&Millau Tour, the Gault&Millau grant, a digital platform, multiple applications and digital projects are planned to appear soon.
Gault&Millau is a discoverer of talents for 50 years
The Gault&Millau adventure began in the 1960s with the editorial staff of the "Paris-Presse". Henri Gault showed his talents as a "great reporter" and Christian Millau was responsible for the "magazine" pages, as deputy chief-editor. In 1961, Henri Gault was entrusted by Pierre Charpy, managing editor, a weekly column entitled "Week-end et promenades". Behind the wheel of his old rattletrap motor-car, he begins to explore the surroundings and outskirts of Paris in order to find tips and best addresses. Responsible for magazine pages, Millau reread every week the strolls of the man who would become his favorite table companion.
Every Friday, they invented for their intrigued readers some passing fancies, as: castles with broken roofs, cross-country walks... However the inauguration of restaurants that stirred the public the most, lickerish for exploring the beaten paths. The success was instant, it met the expectations of readers inspired with new values: consumption habits and lifestyles had evaluated gradually. The French were ready for discovering loafing, weekends, leisure. May 68 was getting ready, the trend was for the birth of another consumer society. Post-war hunger and the excesses of the table dishes had been appeased. The taste was refined and the audience already wanted to get closer to what was more natural and true.
Gault Millau rates on a scale of 1 to 20, with 20 being the highest. Restaurants given below 10 points are rarely listed. The points are awarded based on the quality of the food, with comments about service, price or the atmosphere of the restaurant given separately. Based on this rating, high-ranking restaurants may display one to four toques. Gault Millau does not accept payment for listing restaurants.
Under its original authors and for many years after they left, Gault Millau never awarded a score of 20 points, under the argument that perfection is beyond the limitations of a normal human being. In 2004, two restaurants, both of chef Marc Veyrat, the Maison de Marc Veyrat (or L'Auberge de l'Eridan) in Veyrier-du-Lac near Annecy and La Ferme de Mon Père ("My Father's Farm") in Megève, received this score. To some, this reflects a fall of standards in the guide after it changed from employing a permanent editorial and tasting staff to using local agents.
Differences with Michelin
There has been discussion about which guide is more important, the Michelin Guide or the Gault Millau. In the 1970s the Michelin's continued conservative support of traditional haute cuisine was challenged by the support of nouvelle cuisine by the Gault-Millau. Michelin is more popular and therefore more influential, while Gault Millau has been considered more food-focused due to the main system being based purely on the quality of the food. Gault Millau has guides for various other countries, including Netherlands, Belgium & Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany, and Poland.
French Chef of the Year
- 1989 Joël Robuchon (Chef of the Century)
- 1994 Roger Souvereyns
- 2001 Luigi Ciciriello
- 2002 Nicolas Le Bec
- 2003 Michel Troisgros
- 2004 Jean-Paul Abadie
- 2005 Arnaud Magnier
- 2006 Thierry Marx
- 2007 Anne-Sophie Pic
- 2008 Jean-Luc Rabanel
- 2009 Léa Linster
- 2010 William Ledeuil
- 2011 Édouard Loubet
- 2012 Michel Portos
- 2013 Philippe Labbé
- 2014 Arnaud Lallement
- 2015 Yannick Alleno
- 2016 Alexandre Gauthier
- 2017 Alexandre Couillon
- 2018 Jean Sulpice
- Alex Hughes, Keith A. Reader. Encyclopedia of Contemporary French Culture - 1998 Page 467 "Michelin was long associated with the rich traditional style of la haute cuisine, to which the polemical embracing of nouvelle cuisine by the Guide Gault-Millau (founded in 1972) represented something of a riposte."
- Jacques Mercier À la table des grands chefs en Belgique 2001 - Page 21 "Luigi Ciciriello est nommé "Chef de l'Année" Gault- Millau 2001."
- "Le palmarès du Guide France 2014, gaultmillau.fr". Archived from the original on 2013-12-19. Retrieved 2013-12-18.
- 'Alexandre Couillon, Cuisinier de l'Année 2017', fr.gaultmillau.com