French news outlets report that L'Auberge du Pont de Collonge near Lyon, which gained the maximum triple rating in 1965, has been downgraded to two stars.
Michelin boss Gwendal Poullennec visited the restaurant to deliver the news in person this week ahead of the publication of the 2020 Michelin Guide France on 27 January.
The red book told Agence France-Presse that the quality of cooking at L’Auberge du Pont de Collonge was ‘excellent but no longer at the level of three stars’.
An iconic figure in French cuisine, Bocuse died in January 2018 at the age of 91.
A statement by the chef’s family said the restaurant had announced a revamp in October 2019, which may have come too late to impact the 2020 print guide decision. The restaurant is currently closed and will reopen on 24 January.
Despite being ‘upset’ by the inspector’s judgement the family said they wanted to retain the ‘soul’ of Bocuse’s cooking, which had inspired the new restaurant ‘experience’.
L'Auberge du Pont de Collonge was the only restaurant to hold the three-star rating for more than four decades, a world record.
Tensions have been simmering in the world of French gastronomy following several recent clashes between Michelin and high-profile chefs. In December the guide won a legal battle with Marc Veyrat, who tried to force the red book to reveal why it demoted his La Maison des Bois restaurant from three to two stars.
The guide also provoked criticism from Sebastian Bras after it included his Le Suquet restaurant in the 2019 edition, despite the chef publicly asking to withdraw from its pages.