Restaurant Paul-Bocuse loses its third Michelin star

The statue of chef Paul Bocuse in the courtyard of the Pont de Collonges inn, in Collonges-au-Mont-d´Or, near Lyon, in 2018.
The statue of chef Paul Bocuse in the courtyard of the Auberge de Pont de Collonges, in Collonges-au-Mont-d´Or, near Lyon, in 2018. JEFF PACHOUD / AFP

Paul Bocuse’s restaurant near Lyon has been at the height of French gastronomy for the Michelin guide for over a quarter of a century. Two years almost to the day after the disappearance of its eponymous founder, the establishment on the banks of the Saône was stripped of its three stars.

Also read the obituary: Chef Paul Bocuse, tireless herald of tricolor prestige, is dead

The information, revealed Friday January 17 by the organizers of the international cooking competition the Golden Bocuse, was confirmed by the Guide in stride.

“Inspectors visited the establishment several times in 2019” and concluded “That the quality remained excellent but more at the level of a three-star”, explained Elisabeth Boucher-Anselin, director of communications for Michelin’s gastronomic and tourist activities.

“We have to be fair to customers (…), the Michelin guide is first made for those who go to restaurants. “

The Bocuse family and the team at the head of the famous restaurant in Collonges-au-Mont-d´Or said they were upset by the loss of the third star. “One thing we never want to lose is the soul of Mister paul, underlined in a press release the family, the general manager of the restaurant Vincent Le Roux “And all the crew”.

“From Collonges and from the bottom of our hearts, we will continue to bring the sacred fire to life with audacity, enthusiasm, excellence and a certain form of freedom. “

Modernization efforts

Some critics already said long before the chef’s death, at 91, that the Collonges-au-Mont-d’Or inn was no longer up to par and guides had classified it in the institution category, failing that to write it down. Jean-François Mesplède, former director of the Red Guide, had proposed a few days ago in Progress “To create a gold star”.

” As [Bocuse] is out of classification, let’s create a gold star and a category “incontournable“.

However, “The chefs have worked and reworked the dishes, they have refined them for more than a year, making them evolve while retaining their DNA, their original taste”, explained to Progress Vincent Le Roux, a few days ago.

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The Collonges-au-Mont-d’Or hostel presented a new concept “tradition in motion” in October 2019, to respond to possible criticism from Michelin inspectors. For example, the presentation of the whole lobster is more contemporary, the lighter dumpling accompanied by a champagne sauce.

Major renovations are also nearing completion and the restaurant is due to reopen after three weeks of closure on January 24, three days before the official release of the new Michelin guide. “Considered exceptional by many of our customers, gastronomic experts or journalists, this experience will take on its full dimension as soon as we reopen”, assures Vincent Roux. The restaurant has further expanded its team, which now has five best workers in France (MOF).

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“The work of” Monsieur Paul “”

With the loss of this star, held continuously since 1965, “The whole Bocuse d’Or family expresses their sadness and renewed respect for the work of” Monsieur Paul “”, reacted Olivier Ginon, president of the GL Events group who recalls “Paul Bocuse’s contribution to world cuisine, his cultural and heritage imprint”.

An element also highlighted by the three-star chef George Blanc on Twitter.

The information did not fail to react in the culinary world, when the Red Guide had already been at the center of a legal standoff with chef Marc Veyrat, so the restaurant in Manigod, in Haute-Savoie, had obtained its third star in 2018 then had been downgraded a year later.

Read also the interview with Gwendal Poullennec: “The stars in the Michelin guide do not belong to the chefs”

For the food critic Périco Légasse, interviewed by BFM-TV and RMC, “Michelin is currently lacking notoriety when it comes to selling its guide. So there, the Michelin guide throws off the mask and proves that what it wants is to buzz and be talked about “.

“The Paul-Bocuse restaurant is at the peak of perfection, so if there is a moment when we cannot sanction this restaurant, it is there now, in this period. “

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also The war of gastronomic guides

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