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FARMING

Dairy farmers flood fields with milk to protest of low prices

Angry dairy farmers poured more than 100,000 litres of milk on streets and fields across Germany on Thursday to protest market prices they say are too low.

Dairy farmers flood fields with milk to protest of low prices
Photo: DPA

“With this action we want to call attention to our enormous grievances caused by perverse policies,” Engelbert Vogerl, head of the eastern Allgäu regional chapter of the German Federal Dairy Farmers Association (BDM).

A group of BDM members near the Bavarian town of Irpisdorf brought tractors and transporters full of milk to spray on fields.

Meanwhile, 100 others met at a market square in the Rhineland-Palatinate town of Erbendorf to pour their milk down the gutters.

In the Lower Saxon city of Visselhövede, farmers said they spilled 70,000 litres of milk on a field.

Among them was farmer Ottmar Böhling from Rotenburg, who told journalists his group wanted to show solidarity with dairy farmers suffering across Europe.

Head of the National Union of Farmers (DBV), Gerd Sonnleitner, was also critical of European Union plans to help struggling dairy farmers. EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel has said the EU could give the farmers a one-off payment of between €7,500 and €15,000 to cover their losses and asked individual countries to buy up excess milk on the market to artificially increase prices.

Sonnleitner called the plans “highly dangerous.”

“The commission is moving far too slowly, far too vaguely,” he said.

Germany’s 90,000 dairy farmers have been fighting for more than a year – staging delivery boycotts, strikes and large demonstrations – to gain attention to their plight.

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FOOD & DRINK

Five of France’s new Michelin foodie hotspots

As Michelin publishes its 2022 guide, here are five of the most exciting new entries into the hallowed 'bible' of French gastronomy.

Five of France's new Michelin foodie hotspots

Here are five must-visit venues of gastronomic delight for food lovers.

READ ALSO New Michelin guide celebrates ‘resilient’ French cuisine

Plénitude – Paris

It’s only been open seven months, but the Paris restaurant – on the first floor of Cheval Blanc Paris – now has three stars, awarded to chef Arnaud Donckele in Cognac on Tuesday. Picking up three stars all at once is almost unheard of – only Yannick Alléno achieved the same feat in 2015 with the Pavillon Ledoyen in the 8th arrondissement.

Broths, vinaigrettes, creams, veloutés, juices are at the heart of the cuisine at Plénitude. A seasonal six-course Symphony Menu costs €395, while the Sail Away Together menu of three savoury dishes and one sweet is €320.

La Villa Madie – Cassis, Bouches-du-Rhône

Another new three-star venue listed in this year’s guide came as something of a surprise, by all accounts. Dimitri and Marielle Droisneau’s restaurant in the south of France overlooks the Mediterranean.

“We took this house nine years ago. We had a baby, we have a second one now. We live in the villa. We work in a paradise,” chef Dimitri said at the ceremony in Cognac.

The cuisine follows the seasons, and uses carefully selected local produce. As such, the menu changes daily according to what’s available. The Menu Anse de Corton – a starter, a fish course, a meat course, and a sweet treat – costs €130, while the six-course Menu Espasado “Cap Canaille” is €180.

Plaza Athénée – Paris

Top Chef series three winner Jean Imbert was one of a number of former contestants on the show to win a star for his restaurant in the palace le Plaza Athénée – with the jury praising his “impressive revival of the greatest classics of French gastronomy”.

Guillaume Pape – a finalist in series 10, also picked up his first star for  L’Ebrum, in Brest; as did series nine finalist Victor Mercier, for FIEF in the ninth arrondissement, honoured for producing “empowering cuisine, made exclusively using French produce”. Mercier was also named Young Chef of the Year.

The self-titled Menu de Jean at Plaza Athénée costs €296

Villa La Coste – Bouches-du-Rhône

Continuing the Top Chef theme, judge Hélène Darroze – who already runs the three-star Hélène Darroze at The Connaught in London – was awarded a star for her restaurant in the south of France, as was fellow-judge Philippe Etchebest for his latest venture in Bordeaux.

Local vegetables and fruit are the stars of the dining show at Villa La Coste, with meat and fish playing an accompanying role. A three-course lunch menu is €75, while a full dinner menu is €155.

Domaine Riberach: La Coopérative – Bélesta, Ariège 

One of six new restaurants to be awarded a Green Star for its seasonal food and it’s determined approach to ‘sustainable gastronomy’. This year’s six Green Star winners join 81 establishments which received the award last year in France.

“Slow food” is the order of the day, with menus created based – as is often the case – on the seasons, the market and chef Julien Montassié’s instinct. The chief rule is that food must be local – “0 km is our motto”, boasts the website.

The six-course Menu Latitude is €85 without wine. A three-course Menu Km0 is €49 – and a children’s two-course menu is €18.

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