Late chef Paul Bocuse’s legendary L’Auberge du Pont de Collonge has lost its third Michelin star, which it had held since 1965.
According to the 2020 Michelin guide to France, L’Auberge du Pont de Collonge (known colloquially as Restaurant Paul Bocuse) will be downgraded to two Michelin stars, just two years after the death of Bocuse.
It is believed that Michelin’s international director Gwendal Poullennec visited the restaurant to break the news himself, ahead of the guide’s official release next week. Poullennec’s personal delivery is an unprecedented break from usual protocol, which is a nod to the late chef’s legacy and impact on the industry.
Speaking to Agence France-Presse, a representative for Michelin said that the restaurant “remained excellent but no longer at the level of three stars.”
L’Auberge du Pont de Collonge, which is located just outside of Lyon, responded with its own statement, writing: “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 also noted that its new menu, called ‘Tradition on the Move’, was unveiled after the deadline for Michelin’s judgements. The new tasting experience will be fully implemented from next week, following the restaurant’s re-opening after a small-scale renovation.
The downgrading of Restaurant Paul Bocuse means that Le Bois sans Feuilles Troisgros (found in Ouches) is now the longest standing French restaurant to hold three Michelin stars, having first been awarded the accolade in 1968. However, this could change when the 2020 guide is published.
Paul Bocuse died in January 2018, passing away in the same room above his restaurant in which he was born in 1926.
A bit closer to home, check out the complex history between the city of Manchester and the Michelin guide.