PARIS (AFP) - Marc Veyrat, the comeback king of French cuisine, is back at the top of the pecking order after the Michelin guide for France awarded him the maximum three stars.
The flamboyant chef has now won the rating for three different restaurants in his career.
Famed for his creations that mix delicate infusions of wild herbs with traditional Savoyard cooking, Veyrat is one of only two chefs promoted this year to the three-star club.
Michelin's international director Michael Ellis also cheered the progress of Japanese chefs in France with two new two-starred restaurants - Takao Takano's eatery in Lyon and Masafumi Hamano's Au 14 Fevrier in the Saone-et-Loire region.
Three other Japanese chefs got a star for the first time.
Mr Ellis praised Veyrat, saying: "It is very difficult to make characterful food with herbs, flowers and plants but he does it."
This year, the guide is also rolling out a mentoring scheme led by Anne-Sophie Pic, the only woman with three stars in France.
"It is a great boost to get a star," she said, "but there is also extra pressure as well as the fear of losing it. It can be a steamroller.
"With more and more people wanting to book a table at your restaurant, their expectations also rise."