France's 2023 Michelin Guide Revokes Stars From 25 Restaurants

The Michelin Guide is a challenging and unforgiving judge, and having stars revoked must feel especially harsh if you're from its home country of France. The famed tire-company-owned restaurant guide is notorious for only awarding its coveted stars to restaurants that live up to the most exacting standards and deliver impressive meals.

Receiving any number of these stars can put a dining establishment on the map, making it a must-eat destination for locals and culinary travelers alike. This is compounded by the rarity of receiving a Michelin star, with fewer than 3,000 eateries in the whole world, including only around 200 in the United States, currently holding at least one.

The tough thing about Michelin stars is that once you have them, you have to maintain them, as the guide regularly sends inspectors to revisit restaurants to ensure they have stayed consistent. Because of the coveted nature of the stars, losing them can be as traumatic as earning them was victorious. Having a star revoked can be brutal — so much so that after a French chef's restaurant was downgraded from three to two stars, he sued the Michelin Guide for rating based on what he considered to be dubious and unclear reviewing practices.

Though Michelin assesses the quality of restaurants across the globe, the guide is watched with particular fervor in France, which has the most starred restaurants in the world. So when big-name dining spots in the country lose stars, it becomes international news.

Some of France's most famous chefs lost Michelin stars

With the release of Michelin's 2023 guide France is feeling the pain, as Eater reports 25 restaurants across the country lost a star. This includes Guy Savoy's famous restaurant at the Monnaie de Paris, which has held three stars since 2002. Christopher Coutanceau, who made a guest appearance on an episode of "Top Chef France," also lost a star at his seafood restaurant in La Rochelle.

The news of these French restaurants losing stars comes after several years of respite from the guide's judgment after Michelin paused any downgrading of its ratings due to the pandemic. The company has recently restarted the practice, resulting in the highly-publicized revoking of iconic New York steakhouse Peter Luger's single star.

The news isn't all bad, however, as several inspiring French chefs were also elevated in the new guide. According to the Seattle Times, Georgiana Viou, an immigrant from Benin who taught herself to cook, was awarded her first star for her restaurant Rouge in Nîmes. Alexandre Couillon's La Marine received three stars, making it one of the best restaurants in France, per the Michelin Guide. While losing a star is always tough, the guide also serves as a welcome reminder that rising talents are bringing fresh ideas to the world's culinary landscape every year.