Monday, 15 July, 2019

Michelin lets French chef pull out of guide for the first time

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The statement from Bras follows two other French chefs who closed their restaurants due to the huge pressure of three Michelin stars.

Indeed, Bras is not the first chef to reject a star rating, however it is the first time that Michelin has allowed an operational restaurant to be withdrawn from its pages.

The usual narrative is that chefs and restaurants are falling over themselves trying to get into the Michelin guide, or to up their star rating in the gastronomic bible. "It is hard for us to have a restaurant in the guide which does not wish to be in it", she stated.

Sebastien Bras and his father, Michel Bras, held three stars in the Michelin guide for nearly 20 years and Le Suquet was consistently described by the Michelin judges as "spellbinding".

Le Suquet was among the 27 French restaurants holding three stars in the 2017 guide.

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When he asked for his restaurant, Le Suquet, in Laguiole, southern France, to be removed, Michelin executives were taken aback.

Sébastien Bras, 46, whose restaurant, Le Suquet, near Laguiole in central France, had a maximum three-star rating previous year, asked in September for his listing to be removed.

According to Michelin, holding three stars doesn't necessarily involve increased pressure because guide inspectors are giving their ratings based on five criteria that don't include layout and service. "I want to be liberated from the pressure", Bras was quoted by the New York Times as saying.

Michelin said it granted Bras' request, and that his restaurant wouldn't be listed in the 2018 edition of the guide to be unveiled next week.

He added that he was "not in the frame of mind", but wanted to "start a new chapter" in the restaurant's history, "without wondering whether my creations will appeal to Michelin's inspectors".

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