Ten days before the official release of the Michelin Guide France 2020, and for the first time in history the red book has removed the third star from the Paul Bocuse restaurant. The establishment had held three stars for 55 years in Collonges-au-Mont-d'Or. The rumour, which has been circulating for a few months, was confirmed this Thursday, January 16th by Le Point and the Atabula sites.
According to Elisabeth Ancelin, director of communications for the Michelin Guide, “the restaurant is no longer at the level of three stars.”
However the restaurant "remains excellent but according to the results of table experiments carried out by Michelin Guide inspectors throughout 2019,” she added.
On Thursday, January 16th Gwendal Poullenec, international director of the Michelin guides, travelled to Lyon to announce the bad news to the team, almost two years after the death of Mr. Paul.
“The chefs worked and reworked the dishes,” explained General Manager, Vincent Le Roux to Progrés, “they refined them for more than a year, making them evolve while retaining their DNA, their original taste”. Major renovations have also just been completed and the restaurant will reopen on January 24th, three days before the release of the 2020 Michelin Guide.
GL events, the company that organizes the Bocuse d'Or, quickly supported Maison Bocuse. “The whole Bocuse d'Or family expresses their sadness and renewed respect for Mr. Paul's work,” said Olivier Ginon, President of the GL events group. “Paul Bocuse's contribution to world cuisine, his cultural and heritage imprint, the permanence of his culinary heritage through the Maison de Collonges-au-Mont d'or, however, go far beyond [the restaurant]. Bocuse is a passionate story with France, an eternal story ", concluded Ginon.
In 1993, Paul Bocuse declared: "The Michelin Guide is a very important thing for us, it is the standard reference. And I believe that it is surely the only guide which is impartial.”
For his part Marc Veyrat, himself demoted last year, reacted strongly. “It's dramatic, it's pathetic,” said the chef. Very angry, he castigates “a lack of skills” on the part of Michelin inspectors, who, according to him, ignore the terroir and the products. “There is a new generation that has arrived and wants to eliminate the Bocuse generation of which I am a part.” And today, “everyone is threatened” by a demotion.
Very upset with the Michelin Guide, Marc Veyrat had even filed a complaint against the red guide to understand the reasons for the loss of his star, but was dismissed of his request by the court on December 31, 2019.
Bocuse, one of the most celebrated French chefs of all time, died aged 91 on January 20, 2018, after suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
“Although we are overwhelmed by the inspectors’ decision, there is one thing that we hope never to lose and that is the soul of Monsieur Paul,” the Bocuse family and the restaurant said in a statement.