The late, legendary chef Paul Bocuse’s flagship restaurant in France, which had held three Michelin stars since 1965 — the longest current streak of any restaurant in the world — has lost that accolade. L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges, also known colloquially as “Restaurant Paul Bocuse,” will be demoted to two stars in the 2020 Michelin Guide to France, the tire-company-turned-restaurant-rating-system announced, making its rating change two years after Bocuse’s death at the age of 91. A Michelin representative told Agence France-Presse that the restaurant, located in Collonges-au-Mont-d’Or outside Lyon, “remained excellent but no longer at the level of three stars.”
“Although we are overwhelmed by the inspectors’ decision, there is one thing that we hope never to lose, and that is the soul of Mr. Paul,” the restaurant responded in a statement. It also noted that its new menu and tasting experience, dubbed “Tradition on the Move,” was unveiled after the judging window for Michelin, and that the “experience will take on its full dimension” when the restaurant reopens after a renovation next week.
According to AFP, Michelin’s international director Gwendal Poullennec visited the restaurant to personally deliver the news before the guide is officially released next week, a break from the usual protocol and an acknowledgment of the late chef’s legacy. The demotion was treated as a shocker throughout France: Bloomberg Paris Bureau Chief Geraldine Amiel tweeted that the Michelin news was “the main headline in France this morning.”
When the guide drops next week, all eyes will be on Le Bois sans Feuilles Troisgros, in Ouches in central France; it’s held three stars since 1968.