The restaurant Côté Jardin, located in Gien in the Loiret, has decided to give up its Michelin star after seven years of appearance in the famous guide. For the chef, it’s a way to renew himself and take on new challenges.
The news is surprising when you know that some restaurateurs dream of it all their careers. In Gien, in the Loiret, the gastronomic restaurant Côté Jardin has decided to give up its Michelin star, which it has held since 2015. A decision under discussion for more than a year with the famous guide but which should succeed.
“For us, we did not meet the criteria of the Michelin star. We have the feeling of not belonging to these big houses” judge Arnaud Billard, the chef of this emblematic establishment in Gien. In 36 years of restoration, the prestigious award has never represented a goal for its owner. Because in his restaurant, which he has been running since 2003, it is above all conviviality that he is looking for. “For me the best reward is especially when customers come to thank me in the kitchen”.
It is also a desire for renewal that motivated his decision, “a real need for change was essential”. If for the moment this change is only at the sketch stage, Arnaud Billard already has an idea of what he could modify in his restaurant. “Before, we made tasting menus with always starter, main course and dessert. Now we are going to offer a real menu with a choice of starter-main course or main course-dessert”. Alongside his partner and his daughters with whom he works, Arnaud Billard is confident about the implementation of this change of menu scheduled for September 8: “we understand each other without even speaking”
The famous guide employs inspectors every year who crisscross the country in search of new jewels of French gastronomy. More than 100 years after its first publication, it remains a reference in the world of gastronomy and the presence of its logo on an establishment is undeniably a guarantee of quality. So isn’t the chef concerned that fewer people will be jostling at his door? “Our local and very regular clientele came and went before the star and I know they will continue to come after”.