Today France Debated Which Restaurants Can Call Themselves Themselves ‘Restaurants’

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Ducasse knows parcooked food when he sees it. Photo: Melissa Hom

Today, the National Assembly of France considered a proposal that, if passed, will effectively ban an estimated third of all establishments in the country from calling themselves restaurants. The latest development is the result of several movements within the national culinary Zeitgeist: Recent incidents of horse-meat-contaminated meat have caused a shift against processed foods, and separately, chefs like Alain Ducasse, Anne-Sophie Pic, and Joël Robuchon have come out swinging in support of a peer-approved "seal of approval" to help distinguish restaurants where cooks prepare food from scratch from those that are merely content to defrost and reheat. Now it appears the whole thing will come to an actual, official vote. Ducasse says measures must be enacted to set apart places that practice "industrial cooking" and those where chefs are actually practicing the craft of cooking. [Rendezvous/NYT, Earlier, Related]