European tire maker and restaurant guidebook purveyor Michelin just unveiled its latest star rankings for France — and a few big-name chefs are likely none too happy with the results.
Critic and blogger Elizabeth Auerbach (aka @ElizabethOnFood) analyzes the results of the just-released guide, noting that "Two restaurants have lost their third star: Le Meurice (Alain Ducasse) in Paris and Le Relais Bernard Loiseau in Saulieu." But another Ducasse restaurant fared better: In 2015, Plaza Athénée was bumped from three stars down to two following a year-long closure for renovations; this year, it was repromoted to three stars. The only other restaurant to earn a third star this year is Le Cinq, located inside Paris's prestigious Hôtel George V and headed up by chef Christian LeSquer.
Meanwhile, half a dozen restaurants have lost their second star; those newly demoted to one star include both L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Étoile and Gordon Ramsay au Trianon in Versailles. Both chefs fared better in Bordeaux, however: There, Robuchon's La Grande Maison, which opened in January 2015, made its Michelin guide debut with an impressive two stars, and Ramsay's Le Pressoir d'Argent also snagged its first star.
The number of one-star restaurants in the guide dropped from 503 to 492 this year; while 42 restaurants nabbed their first star, 55 lost the honor altogether.
The new guide's release reminds France's restaurant community of a tragic 2003 event in which Le Relais Bernard Loiseau's namesake chef Bernard Loiseau committed suicide at the age of 52 after news reports speculated he may lose his third Michelin star — something that has now come to fruition. The sad tale seems all too familiar today, as news broke over the weekend that chef Benoît Violier of the Michelin-starred Restaurant de l'Hotel de Ville Crissier was found dead in his home in Crissier, Switzerland of a suspected suicide.
Here's the full list of Michelin France 2016 changes: