The World's Best Chef Just Lost A Michelin Star

Guy Savoy and his self-titled Parisian restaurant are considered by many food critics to be the best in the business, with an astounding three Michelin stars every year since 2002 to back them up. But that is all changing, as the Michelin Group recently decided to demote the restaurant to two stars in its upcoming, updated France guide. A three-star rating is the highest possible achievement that Michelin offers restaurants, with only a handful of eateries in the entire world gaining such a distinction. 

Two stars is nothing to sniff at, but the loss of a star can be shattering news for any chef or restaurant. "We are fully aware of the impact of our decisions for the restaurants concerned," said the Michelin Group in a statement (via CNN). "We maintain a trust-based relationship with the gourmets and our readers. They expect our recommendations to be serious and reliable in order to guide them in their choices."

Why is the group removing a star?

It is shocking when a chef and restaurant seems to be at the top of its game, only to have the Michelin Guide cut it down. As recently as 2020, La Liste named Savoy's establishment "Best Restaurant" for the fourth year in a row, and the restaurant continues to top the site's 2023 best chef scores. So why has Michelin downgraded Restaurant Guy Savoy to a two-star rating? There's no official reason why. In 2019, Marc Veyrat, the chef of La Maison des Bois, unsuccessfully sued Michelin after being stripped of a star. The provided reason for the demotion? The choice of cheese in a soufflé. 

It isn't completely understood by the public how the Michelin Group determines its ratings, though it clearly prioritizes the food of an establishment as well as the atmosphere, making it a somewhat subjective system, to be sure. Savoy's demotion was first announced and discussed privately between the two involved parties, where the group gave feedback and reasoning to Savoy. "These are exceptional restaurants, so you can imagine that these decisions are carefully considered, supported by numerous visits from our inspectors throughout the year," said Gwendal Poullennec, head of the guide (per RFI). Restaurant Guy Savoy continues to be a beloved place for fine dining, and we will be curious to see if it recovers its star in the future.