Michelin has a lot of power despite the fact that reviews of restaurants are a few sentences long. Amid the many announcements of new classifications in France on 2 February 2015, came a decision which surprised many on Twitter. It was Michelin’s decision to downgrade the Côte Saint Jacques from its 3 Stars in the next edition of the Michelin 2015. Many were asking why the restaurant had lost its third Michelin star.
It seems a few pinches of salt (some flaws in seasoning) may have been the reason.
Chef Jean-Michel Lorain left a statement on the hotel’s Facebook page which we feel should be highlighted because it illustrates the pressure that chefs face on a daily basis. By the time of writing this post, his comment had received over 800 likes and shared more than 200 times. There were also many comments all encouraging the French chef to continue his great work.
Lorain noted that during the last meeting with the director of the Michelin guide in November, he was told that inspectors had noted some flaws in the seasoning of some dishes they had tried. He asked if they had noted anything else and she had told him that otherwise they had been satisfied. He ironically said that he has to believe that a few grains of salt were the cause of the change in their classification.
The French chef said that he was saddened not only for himself but for his family, his children and his parents who will be very disappointed as well as for his team that has worked hard with a lot of passion. He said that he was very sorry to disappoint his customers and producers and suppliers of his restaurant.
Lorain says “What do we do now? Certainly we will not be depressed and give up. Quite the opposite! I have always said that I do not wake up in the morning and think about Michelin stars. What I have always done is to work to bring out the best of myself and to please my clients. This rationale creates stress but such stress is necessary if we want to make progress.”
Lorain says that with his team, he will continue to work with added passion to create new dishes. “We are certainly going to surprise you and to delight your taste buds,” he said.
He said that he was working on a lot of projects to continue to improve Côte Saint Jacques and improve his business. “I am not worried because I know that my clients are faithful and like in 2001, will continue to support our work.”
From the comments left on the Facebook page, it was evident that many did not agree with Michelin’s decision.
From here we want to wish chef Lorain all the very best. We are sure that his customers will continue to support his work and visit the restaurant for its story and his passion.