Celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten downgraded to two Michelin stars

Celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten has been downgraded from three to two stars.
Celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten has been downgraded from three to two stars. PHOTO: COMO DEMPSEY / THE DEMPSEY COOKHOUSE & BAR

NEW YORK (AFP) - New York has been usurped as America's premiere gastronomic destination, at least in terms of the Michelin Guide's celebrated three-star ranking.

The Guide's 2018 edition saw celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten suffer the indignity of being downgraded from three to two stars, leaving the US cultural and financial capital with just five three-star restaurants.

And San Francisco? It has seven.

Seventy-two New York restaurants were awarded stars by the Guide, down from 77 last year. Michelin said several previously ranked restaurants had since closed.

But most notable was the loss of the three-star status for Vongerichten's flagship Jean-Georges, one of the most glittering restaurants in New York.

Jean-Georges, which opened in 1997 to critical acclaim and has long been the jewel in the French-born chef's empire, is now one of 11 New York restaurants with two stars.

Instead of the three-star ranking, which Michelin characterises as "exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey," its downgraded status is classified as "excellent cooking, worth a detour".

San Francisco now has the most number of three Michelin-starred restaurants in any US city. Chicago has two while Washington has none.