Bocuse restaurant loses three-star status after more than half a century

A visitor stands in front of the entrance to the restaurant L'Auberge du Pont de Collonges.

L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges, the French restaurant that served as the flagship for master chef Paul Bocuse, who died in 2018, has lost a star. The family behind the restaurant announced this on Friday morning; the news was confirmed by spokespersons for the Michelin restaurant guide. The three-star status, which the establishment had for 55 years, has been exchanged for a two-star ranking in the 2020 guide.

According to representatives of the famous restaurant guide, food from L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges is now “excellent, but no longer of the three-star level,” Reuters news agency quoted as saying. According to Michelin, a three-star restaurant should be ‘one of the best restaurants, worth a special trip’.

The restaurant near Lyon is a family business: Paul Bocuse first worked there under his father, who earned the first star. In 1956 he took over the company. He managed to get three stars in ten years. During the same period, Paul Bocuse became a star chef and came to be known as the ‘Pope of French gastronomy’. In the 1960s he co-developed the new cuisinea small portion cooking style using fresh, seasonal ingredients.

L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges remained the center of Bocuse’s culinary empire with dozens of restaurants and bistros worldwide. After his death two years ago, hundreds of chefs paid him their last respects by coming to his funeral in chef’s jacket.

after mr. Paul

According to critics, however, the food at L’Auberge hadn’t been this good for several years, and certainly not at the level of three stars. They stated that Michelin reporters did not dare to criticize the great Bocuse and therefore honored that status. Now that the master chef is dead, it would be easier to judge more harshly. “Of course everyone wondered how our restaurants would fare without his leadership,” the company Bocuse said in the statement. “Although we are upset by the verdict of the inspectors, there is one thing we never want to lose: Mr. Paul.”

On Twitter, other chefs, such as Georges Blanc, expressed their indignant support for the Bocuse group.

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