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Ducasse's's Stars: Down Down to 5

March 28, 2001

Three years after being hailed as the first chef to win six stars from the Guide Michelin (he wasn't;, more about that later), Alain Ducasse has fallen back to five. The new restaurant guide, released this month, stripped a star from his former showcase, Le Louis XV in the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo. That leaves the globe-trotting chef with one three-star, Restaurant Plaza Athenee, a two-star in Monte Carlo and, of course, his controversial eponymous restaurant Alain Ducasse at the Essex House hotel in New York City, which has been ripped by local critics but is safely out of reach of the Eurocentric Michelin inspectors.

At the same time, the guide delivered a sixth star to Marc Veyrat, by promoting La Ferme de Mon Pere from two-stars to match his three-star Auberge de l'Eridan near Annecy.

But the two restaurants are never open at the same time-La Ferme, which is in a ski resort, is only open only during the winter while L'Auberge is only open only for the summer.

Another three-star restaurant was downgraded to two, La Cote St. Jacques in Joigny. Jean Bardet in Tours, which had been downgraded last year following after aa scandal over the mislabeling of menu items, was restored to its two-star rank.

Despite the claims at the time, Ducasse was not the first chef to win six stars, though he was the first man to do it.

In the 1930s, Eugenie Brazier won three stars each for her two La Mere Mere Brazier restaurants-one in Lyons and the other in the mountains just outside the city.

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