Au Revoir: The World’s ‘Best Chef’ Guy Savoy Loses Michelin Star - LA Lives

The chef’s flagship restaurant in Paris has been demoted to two stars from its original three-star rating.

On February 27, the renowned Michelin guide announced the names of restaurants that lost their Michelin star in their latest edition—one of them being Restaurant Guy Savoy, the flagship dining establishment of esteemed chef Guy Savoy. 

This comes as a shock to many people in the culinary and gourmet communities, considering that Savoy has held the title of “world’s best chef” for six consecutive years, a significant award from the prestigious French restaurant guide La Liste. 

Esteemed French chef Guy Savoy/Photo via Instagram @guysavoy.

What’s more, the 69-year-old chef’s aforementioned restaurant—located in Paris’ Hôtel de la Monnaie—has maintained a three-star rating since 2002, the highest honor that the Michelin guide can bestow upon any establishment. The restaurant is widely-known for its haute cuisine, which includes a sumptuous artichoke soup with black truffle parmesan, lauded by French morning newspaper Le Figaro

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A dish from Savoy’s Paris restaurant, which he describes as “layers of pear and buckwheat, Kampot pepper and fresh chervil”/Photo via Instagram @guysavoy.

Controversial Decisions

Besides the demotion of Savoy’s restaurant, another decision from the Michelin guide that created quite a stir was announcing the bad news before the good news. Usually, all restaurants—both promoted and demoted—are announced simultaneously. However, the famed guide decided to release the names of those who’ve been demoted first. This year’s promoted establishments, on the other hand, will still be announced on March 6

As a result of this decision, a number of culinary figures felt like they attracted unwanted attention, as the announcement directed an unsolicited spotlight on their loss. “They are pointing a finger at those who have fallen and it’s hard to accept,” shared Michel Sarran to The Times, a leading French chef who was reduced to tears due to the recent demotion of his restaurant in Toulouse from two stars to one star. Sarran also accused the Michelin guide of “stigmatizing him.”

Fortunately, the guide never discloses the reasons behind such demotions, which only the chefs in question are privy to. When asked about the decision, the guide’s international director Gwendal Poullennec stated that it was “carefully considered” and “supported by numerous visits from our inspectors throughout the year.” 

One Loss in a Long List of Wins

Despite the saddening Michelin news, Savoy’s legendary status and influence in the culinary arts is undeniable. The chef, who opened his very first restaurant in Paris during the 1980s, has been a mentor to other notable gastronomic figures like Gordon Ramsey and Alex Guarnaschelli. “I’ve never known a chef could bring the sea and the earth together in this amazing, balanced way with an articulated lightness and control,” Ramsey once shared in an interview with New York Restaurant Insider

Savoy wasn’t the only culinary great affected by the recent Michelin announcement. Equally acclaimed French chef Christopher Coutanceau also received a demotion. His seafood restaurant La Rochelle—located on the Atlantic Coast—previously held a three-star rating, before being demoted to two stars. 

Famed chef, Christopher Coutanceau signing copies of his educational book The Seasons of the Ocean (Les saisons de l’Océan)/Photo via Instagram @christopher_coutanceau.

Though the Michelin stars do carry weight in the gastronomical world, many fans of these chefs continue to hold high regard for them. Philippe Faure, founder of La Liste, stated that he has no reason to believe that “the quality of Guy Savoy’s restaurant has got lower this year.”

Banner Photo via Instagram @guysavoy.

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