The late Paul Bocuse's flagship, the oldest three-starred restaurant in the world, lost its third star.

By Maria Yagoda
Updated January 28, 2020
JEFF PACHOUD/Getty Images

Of all the world's Michelin guides, the French edition tends to grab the most attention, and this year is no different. In January, before the full 2020 guide even officially dropped, some startling news broke: the late Paul Bocuse's flagship restaurant would lose its third star, roughly two years after the legendary chef's death.

On Monday, the complete selections were announced, and there were some other noteworthy changes. Chef Kei Kobayashi earned three stars for his Paris restaurant Kei, making him the first Japanese chef to ever win three Michelin stars in France. And there were two more newcomers to the three-Michelin-star status: L’Oustau de Baumanière in Provence, and Christopher Coutanceau in La Rochelle.

"There are lots of Japanese chefs now in France and you have accepted us and given us a place,” said Kobayashi as he picked up his award. "Thank you, France."

Though weeks have passed, the Bocuse star drop continues to shake up the restaurant world in France. A spokesperson for the Michelin Guide told AFP that the two-star rating was due to the fact that L'Auberge du Pont de Collonges "remained excellent but [was] no longer at the level of three stars."

Chef Marc Veyrat, who sued the Michelin Guide when he lost his own three-star rating, called the decision "pathetic."

"Forget the strikes, the flu epidemic, the misery of mid-January, the climate scare ... main headline in France this morning: late chef Paul Bocuse restaurant lost one of its three Michelin stars," a Paris reporter tweeted. "Bocuse was the God of all chefs."

There are now 628 Michelin stars awarded in France, down four from last year, with 11 new two-star restaurants and 49 new one-star awardees. Find the full selection of restaurants here.

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