On January 17th The Michelin Guide said that the establishment “remained excellent but no longer at the level of three stars” and will have only two in the 2020 edition of the famous red book.
In an interview with RTL, Michelin Guide boss Gwendal Poullennec said that Michelin stars have to be earned and not inherited.
Celebrity chef Marc Veyrat sued the Michelin Guide over a lost third star and described the move as “pathetic”. While the chef’s son Jerome Bocuse told for RTL that this Michelin move was a “heavy blow” and that its consequences would be “difficult to measure.”
Even President Emmanuel Macron weighed in, telling RTL: “I want to spare a thought for what his family represents, for all those he trained, and that cannot take away from the unique role of Paul Bocuse in French gastronomy.”
The Bocuse d’Or organization, which manages the annual cooking competition he created, also greeted this announcement with sadness and expressed its unwavering support for the restaurant.
Paul Bocuse or Monsieur Paul as he was known, died on January 20th, 2018, after a long battle
with Parkinson’s disease.
He was one of the country’s most celebrated chefs, helping shake up the food world in the 1970s with the lighter fare of the Nouvelle Cuisine revolution and introduce the notion of culinary celebrity.
Even before his death, some critics had commented that the restaurant was no longer quite up to scratch. But Michelin’s decision, a year after controversially stripping Veyrat of his third star, immediately stirred discontent.
Food critic Perico Legasse told for BFM news channel the guide had committed an irreparable error in what he called its quest to create media hype.
Veyrat said he had “lost faith” in a new generation of Michelin editors and accused them of trying to make a name for themselves by taking down the giants of French cuisine.
“I am sad for the team that took up the torch at Collonges,” tweeted three-starred chef Georges Blanc, while Lyon Mayor Gerard Collomb spoke of his “immense disappointment.”
Gastronomy publication Atabula was a lone voice in supporting the Michelin move, which it described as a much-needed “revolution” in an industry held back by decades of inertia.
According to Michelin, restaurants are selected on four criteria: the quality of the products, a chef’s mastery of flavour and cooking techniques, the originality of the dishes and consistency throughout the meal. But critics say the process has rendered Michelin stars untenable as more and more diners baulk at spending a fortune on a meal.
A handful of French restaurateurs have in recent years relinquished their prized three-star status because of the stress of being judged by Michelin inspectors.