Mon dieu—in the Michelin Guide’s 2023 edition for France, two three-star restaurants have been downgraded.
Both Paris’s Restaurant Guy Savoy and La Rochelle’s Christopher Coutanceau are now just Michelin two-star spots, Eater noted after this year’s stars were announced Monday night. Notably, Guy Savoy had held on to its three stars for two decades, first receiving them in 2002. In total, 25 restaurants were demoted this year.
As we’ve previously written, the Michelin Guide has become more transparent in its decision-making process, telling chefs ahead of time when they’re about the lose a star. Gwendal Poullennec, the guide’s international director, even told the chefs Savoy and Coutanceau himself. “We are fully aware of the impact of our decisions for the restaurants concerned,” a spokesperson told The Washington Post, which first reported the news.
While those chefs who lost a star may be licking their wounds today, several others are celebrating: Across the list, 44 restaurants were promoted, either earning their first star or gaining additional ones. Most prominently, Noirmoutier’s La Marine is the only new Michelin three-star restaurant. The inspectors complimented chef Alexandre Couillon’s ocean-focused cuisine, which spotlights seafood and edible coastal plants. In particular, they called out his “braised artisanally-fished mackerel, beetroot and parsley foam” and the “crispy buckwheat dessert, caramel mousse, candied citrus fruit and sea lettuce sorbet.”
Elsewhere, four restaurants were awarded a second Michelin star, while 39 won their first star, contributing to the 630 Michelin-starred restaurants in the guide’s home country. Most of those new additions are located outside the Paris metro area, demonstrating just how vast the world of French fine dining is.
“The 2023 selection confirms that excellence, creativity and commitment abound in the world of French gastronomy,” Poullennec said in a statement. “They are borne up by talents—often young talents—who take initiatives and reveal their potential, and each restaurant fully reflects the terroir in which it is established. The chefs at their helm provide distinctive culinary experiences and foster economic, human and cultural connections.”
That seems like reason enough to add a few extra pit stops to your next French vacation.