For chefs across France, the countdown to the Michelin award ceremony when the list of stars for the coming year is revealed is the most nerve-racking time of the year. 

This year’s ceremony was held in Tours (Indre-et-Loire) on Monday, March 18. But in the run-up to the big event, some chefs had their worst fears come true, as Michelin revealed which restaurants are to be downgraded in the 2024 Guide. 

Some restaurants have lost a star and now are left with two or one stars, but 25 establishments which only had one star to begin with have been left with nothing more than a ‘recommendation’. 

Among those losing out was La Bouitte in Saint-Martin-de-Belleville, in Savoie, going from three to two stars. But owners René and Maxime Meilleur said they saw it as a challenge and would strive to regain the hallowed three-star rating, which is the highest available. 

It’s not necessarily a sign that the food has gone downhill, of course. Sometimes, a restaurant takes a different turn which the inspectors aren’t keen on, and sometimes it’s simply that a particularly great chef has moved on to pastures new. 

For instance, Anne-Sophie Godry lost her star at the Chiquito, in Méry-sur-Oise, in the Val-d’Oise, where she had taken over from chef Alain Mihura. “The star is inseparable from the chef and the restaurant. In principle, with the retirement of Alain Mihura, the star is lost. My goal is to get it back,” the Godry told newspaper La Gazette du Val-d’Oise when she first took the helm. 

Michelin said there were fewer downgrades this year which was something to be pleased about given a year of recruitment challenges and severe inflation. 

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