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Culture

What a coq-up! Michelin guide gives restaurant star by mistake

media The launch of this year's Michelin guide in Germany AFP

A mistake by the foodies' Bible, the Michelin guide, has meant a sudden leap in fortune for a cheap and cheerful restaurant in central France, which received on of its stars by mistake.

The four waiters at the Bouche à Oreille (Word of Mouth) in Bourges have been rushed off their feet since the guide mistakenly gave the restaurant - with gingham table cloths and only open at lunchtime for local workers - one of its coveted stars.

The error springs from confusion with a restaurant with the same name in a completely different part of the country.

The one star should have gone to the Bouche à Oreille in Boutervilliers near Paris.

The Michelin was also disorientated by the fact that the two restaurants have almost identical addresses - route de la Chapelle in Bourges, rue de la Chapelle in Boutervilliers.

Lobster flan v carafe of cheap wine

The latter's 48-euro menu - featuring lobster flan, a special variation on calf's head and pear in chocolate sauce, not forgetting a glass of champagne - is a bit fancier than the Bourges establishment's 12.50-euro offering of starter, main course, dessert and a carafe of wine.

Bourges Bouche à Oreille boss, Véronique Jacquet, admits she never hoped to win a Michelin star, even by accident.

"Oh no, not at all," she told Le Parisien newspaper. "I cook with my heart."

The Boutevilliers chef Americ Dreux was able to see the humour in the situation and called Jacquet to chat about the error.

Michelin took nearly a week to correct the slip on its website - the error was thankfully not repeated in the actual printed guide.

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