Judges included Regis Marcon (Le Clos de Cimes ***)
I had dinner solo at Marcon's restaurant, "Le Clos de Cîmes" (then, a Michelin two-star) in 2002. He had gotten up early that morning (5 AM) and gone mushroom hunting, and I had an incredible solo table to myself, and ordered the "mushroom tasting" (all of which were in the ground that morning) in the corner of the restaurant, facing out towards the center. It was the single greatest Michelin two-star meal I've ever had in my life. I'll find the menu and post it. I can't describe what it was like without the menu. It was promoted to Michelin 3 stars later that year, but when I went it was widely considered the best Michelin two-star restaurant in France. It was the greatest meal I've ever had that wasn't Michelin 3-star, and one the greatest meals I've ever had of any type.
Oh, Julien, you have to know this is no loss. There are other artists like you in the world, and you should all hang out with each other. This is like Cezanne losing to Manet. I love you for trying, brother.