Two of France’s greatest chefs have lost Michelin stars in this year’s guide, which will be revealed in full at a ceremony in Strasbourg on Monday 6th March 2023.
“These are exceptional restaurants, so you can imagine that these are decisions that are well thought out, supported by numerous visits by our inspectors throughout the year,” said Mr Poullennec.
He spoke to Guy Savoy, who was voted best chef in the world for the sixth time running in November, on the phone, and visited Christopher Coutanceau in La Rochelle.
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The personal touch comes on the back of growing awareness of the impact the Michelin system has on mental health and gives the chefs concerned chance to absorb the news privately rather than having to face customers amidst the glare of negative publicity.
In a high-pressure industry, the stress faced by chefs to be at the top of their game is intense: in 2003, Bernard Loiseau, who also held three stars, killed himself following some negative reviews and a downgrading in the Gault & Millau guide; and in 2016, three-starred chef Benoît Violier committed suicide.
Three other restaurants have been downgraded (from two stars to one) in this year’s guide: Jean-Luc Tartarin in Le Havre, La Table de l’Alpaga in Megève, and Restaurant Michel Sarran in Toulouse.
The rest of the Michelin Guide 2023 will be revealed in Strasbourg on Monday.