While the news that Paul Bocuse in Lyon was to be downgraded from three stars to two threatened to overshadow the announcement of the Michelin Guide France 2020 at Pavillon Gabriel in Paris, it proved to herald a new era for French fine dining with three new three-star restaurants and 11 new two-star restaurants added to the already weighty compendium of French fine dining establishments.
Joining the highest echelon in the guide with three-stars this year were Christopher Coutanceau and Nicolas Brossard from the Christopher Coutanceau restaurant in La Rochelle; Kei Kobayashi and Louis-Marie Robert from the Kei restaurant in Paris, and Glenn Viel, Jean-André Charial and Laurent Soustelle of the L'Oustau de Baumanière restaurant in Baux-de-Provence.
Eleven restaurants were awarded two-stars - Stéphane Carrade and Simon Verger from Le Skiff Club in Pyla-sur-Mer, as well as Lionel Giraud and Aurélie Ihamouine from Maison Saint-Crescent in Narbonne and Eric Canino and Nicolas Lopez from La Voile restaurant in Ramatuelle.
The Py-r restaurant in Toulouse by Pierre Lambinon and Xavier Saffon-Peres also gained a second star, as did Racine by Kazuyuki and Marine Tanaka. Eric Bouchenoire, Thierry Karakachian and Lionel Bravard of L'Atelier Joël Robuchon in Paris were also awarded a second star, as well as the L'Abysse by Yannick Alléno, Yasunari Okazaki and Sarah Fresco.
Le Taillevent, now led by David Bizet and Antoine Pétrus, rose to two-star status this year and Stéphanie Le Quellec, who is now self-employed at La Scène restaurant, goes straight to two alongside Cédric Maupoint.
Also, La Table de L'Alpaga by Anthony and Anne-Sophie Bisquerra in Megève is now a two-star restaurant, as well as Le Sarkara by Sébastien Vauxion and Anne-Sophie Berthe in Courchevel.
A total of 49 restaurants were awarded their first star in the guide.
The New Stars Below:
The New Three Star Restaurants
Christopher Coutanceau, La Rochelle
L'Oustau de Baumanière, Les Baux-de-Provence
New Two Star Restaurants
Le Skiff Club, Pyla-sur-Mer
Maison Saint-Crescent, Narbonne
La Voile, Ramatuelle
l'Atelier Joël Robuchon, Paris
Le Taillevent, Paris
La Scène, Paris
La Table de l'Alpaga, Megève
Le Sarkara, Courchevel