After removing their three stars from large tables like those of Marc Veyrat or Paul Bocuse, the guide assured that he would not carry out further demotions. The Landais Michel Guérard can calmly await the announcement of the new guide this Monday
Who's next ? The question haunted the world of gastronomy after the Michelin, whose new Guide will be unveiled on Monday, removed their three stars from large tables, like those of Marc Veyrat and Paul Bocuse.
>> Guide Michelin: how did they experience the loss of their third star? “You have to be strong”
While many expected a new salvo of downgrades, from three to two stars, the boss of the guide Gwendal Poullennec put the points on the “i”. “There are no other three-star establishments in 2019” questioned “in the vintage 2020” , he announced a few days after the demotion of the famous restaurant of Paul Bocuse, “pope” of French gastronomy.
An earthquake or a communication blow
The red guide, who makes and defeats reputations in the world of gastronomy, caused an earthquake with this decision, some seeing it as a “head-cutting” company, others an incentive to always renew itself. “The guide has just committed suicide,” reacted the critic Périco Légasse (Marianne), denouncing “a communication blow”.
It is “a bit like a second funeral for” Monsieur Paul “, abounded the critic François-Régis Gaudry (France Inter). “At the same time, it is only a half-surprise,” he said, while some guides classified, long before the death of the chef at 91 years in 2018, the Auberge du Pont de Collonges in the “institution” category, failing that
Stars are earned every year
Arrived at this position in September 2018 after fifteen years at home, Gwendal Poullennec keeps reminding us that we do not inherit stars but that they “are earned every year”, on merit. “We obviously understand the emotion that may result in the loss of a star, but there is no exceptional treatment. All establishments are t evaluated each year anonymously by our inspectors, “he insists.” Whether you are an iconic chef or a young chef who takes the risk of opening a restaurant by going into debt “.
The criteria on which the inspectors rely? “The choice of products, the mastery of cooking, the harmony of flavors, the personality of the chef who makes the table unique and finally, consistency” throughout the year, he lists.
In almost a year, the guide was illustrated by the demotion of several famous large tables: the legendary Auberge de l'Ill, in Alsace, which had held since 16 years of three stars, L'Astrance by Pascal Barbot in Paris, after 11 years at the top and finally, La Maison des bois by Marc Veyrat in Haute-Savoie.
Justice and controversies
Downgraded in January 2019, barely a year after having been crowned, the “chef in the black hat” has said he is depressed and has taken legal action to obtain evidence of the guide's inspections and the skills of his inspectors. He lost his late trial 2019 but does not intend to stop there. He always asks to be dereferenced from the guide.
These controversies would almost make us forget that Michelin has rewarded in 2019 an unprecedented number of women, after years controversy, as well as many foreign chefs including the Argentinian Mauro Colagreco, triple star for his restaurant “Mirazur”, in Menton (Alpes-Maritimes), and his gastronomy based on vegetables from the garden.
In total, 75 tables were promoted during the previous edition , two three stars (“Mirazur” as well as “Le clos des sens” by Laurent Petit, near Lake Annecy), five two stars and 68 first-starred. A record number.
“2020 promises to be a very good year because our inspectors really enjoyed it all year with a lot of projects. Many establishments also manage to push ever further towards excellence, “said Poullennec.
As every year, names circulate like that of Parisien Jean- François Piège (“Le Grand Restaurant”) to win a third badge. Verdict Monday from 16 h 00.