Star Players

ARIE KEVIT/HOLLANDSE HOOGTE

Chef Cees Helder aimed for perfection and got Michelin stars

Few things spark foodie fights like the Michelin Red Guide. Devotees view the book of restaurant ratings with near religious reverence, faithfully using it as a map for culinary pilgrimage. After each year's edition is published, they rush to dine (and be seen dining) in the newly starred eateries. Detractors say that while the restaurants included may be good, there are other, often better ones left out. The 102-year-old Guide, they gripe, is too fusty, too fussy, too French.

But whichever side of the table one sits on, the consensus is that establishments with three stars, Michelin's highest...

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