French chef Marc Veyrat is suing the Michelin Guide over what he alleges was a false accusation of using cheddar cheese in his soufflé
It’s been called cheddar-gate and this story looks to have turned up a notch with Marc Veyrat turning to the courts after the Michelin Guide stripped his restaurant La Maison des Bois, in the French Alps, of its third star.
The chef made headlines in July of this year when he announced that he would be giving back his two remaining stars to Michelin Guide.
“I’ve been dishonoured, I saw my team in tears ... to have them call you one evening without warning, without anything written down, without anything, to say ‘that’s it, it’s over’,” Veyrat told France Inter radio on Tuesday.
Veyrat claims the star was withdrawn after a Michelin inspector mistakenly thought he had adulterated a cheese souffle with English cheddar, instead of using France’s reblochon, beaufort and tomme varieties.
“I put saffron in it, and the gentleman who came thought it was cheddar because it was yellow. That’s what you call knowledge of a place? It’s just crazy,” Veyrat told France Inter.
His lawyer, Emmanuel Ravanas, told AFP Veyrat hoped the court would force Michelin to hand over documents “to clarify the exact reasons” justifying its decision. He said a court hearing had been set for 27 November in Nanterre, west of Paris.
“For decades, Marc Veyrat has been used to having his cooking graded, evaluated and compared, and he knows quite well that you don’t own a star for life … He accepts it all, as long as the criticism is accurate,” Ravanas said.
In a statement, Michelin said it “understands the disappointment for Mr Veyrat, whose talent no one contests, even if we regret his unreasonable persistence with his accusations”.
It added: “Our first duty is to tell consumers why we have changed our recommendation. We will carefully study his demands and respond calmly.”