A furious French celebrity chef has slammed the Michelin Guide for stripping his restaurant of a star after accusing him of using English Cheddar
A furious French celebrity chef has slammed the Michelin Guide for stripping his restaurant of a star after accusing him of using English Cheddar in his prized Alpine cheese soufflé.
Marc Veyrat, 69, is so angry about the demotion that he has now asked that his restaurant La Maison des Bois, which overlooks Mont Blanc, is removed from the hugely prestigious publication altogether.
Mr Veyrat, whose work has been featured in TV programmes across the world, said he was hugely proud of the three stars which denote ‘exceptional cuisine that is worth a special journey.’
But this year’s demotion to two stars from three for the Alpine restaurant – which charges more than £350 for its celebration menu and overlooks Mont Blanc – came as a massive surprise that has left the flamboyant Frenchman profoundly unhappy.
Marc Veyrat, 69, has slammed the Michelin Guide for removing a star from his restaurant and accusing him of using Cheddar cheese
‘I have been depressed for six months,’ he told Le Point magazine. ‘How dare you take the health of your chefs hostage?’
Mr Veyrat – who is known for his signature black hat – said the inspectors ‘dared to say that we put cheddar in our soufflé of Reblochon, Beaufort and Tomme’
Reblochon, Beaufort and Tomme are all made in the Savoy region of the French Alps, while cheddar is traditionally from Cheddar, in Somerset.
Cheddar is widely available in French supermarkets, but generally looked down upon by Gallic foodies.
Referring to the ‘profoundly incompetent inspectors’, Mr Veyrat said: ‘They have insulted our region! My employees were furious’.
The chef claimed that inspectors ‘dared to say that we put cheddar in our soufflé of Reblochon, Beaufort and Tomme’ (pictured)
Stressing his reliance on local produce, Mr Veyrat said: ‘Eggs are from our chickens, milk from our cows, and two botanists collect our plants every morning.’
He added: ‘The inspectors know absolutely nothing about cooking. Let them put on an apron and get in the kitchen. We are waiting. Let them show us what they can do. The Michelin, they’re basically amateurs. They couldn’t cook a decent dish.’
Mr Veyrat also said the Michelin inspectors might not have even visited, saying: ‘You should be able to find the evidence. You are impostors who only want clashes, for commercial reasons.’
But the iconic red guide said Thursday that it would not withdraw its listing, despite Veyrat travelling to the French capital to confront its editors face to face.
Michelin international director Gwendal Poullennec said: ‘If the establishment remains open and our inspectors judge it to be at the level of one of our distinctions, we will continue to recommend it.’
Marc Veyrat is so angry about the demotion that he has now asked that his restaurant La Maison des Bois is removed from the hugely prestigious publication altogether
He added: ‘The inspectors visit tables anonymously around the world.. They pay their bills like any other client.
‘Marc Veyrat is a chef of great talent who has trained exceptional chefs, a major figure in French gastronomy. We are sorry to hear of the pain he is going through, but we will continue to recommend his restaurant.’
La Maison des Bois describes its food as ‘a veritable pastoral and mineral symphony in which nature’s bounty is displayed in each and every dish’.
Its ‘starry celebration’ menu is priced at Euro 395 (£354) and includes an ‘illusion’ of caviar with trout eggs and ‘king prawns cooked in spruce bark’.
The restaurant produces its own vegetables and herbs in its gardens, and rears cows, chickens and freshwater fish.