The "Golden Toque" is a new academy by Gault & Millau and includes the ‘10 Pillars of French Cuisine’. Arnaud Donckele was named chef of the year.
Gault & Millau described Donckele’s cooking at La Vague d'Or restaurant in Saint Tropez on the French Riviera as ‘poetry on a plate’. While the prize is usually given to emerging chefs Donckele is already a big name, holding three Michelin stars and was named the best chef in the world on the 2018 Le Chef list.
The best patissier of the year was awarded jointly to Jessica Prealpato Alain Ducasse's restaurant at the Plaza Athenee hotel in Paris alongside Max Martin from Yoann Conte's two-star establishment on Lake Annecy near Geneva.
While Veyrat is genuinely considered an icon of French cuisine, the chef’s inclusion was taken by some as a swipe at the Michelin Guide to which Gault & Millau is a competitor. Veyrat made international headlines in July when he announced that he would be suing the Michelin Guide for ‘dishonouring’ him by stripping him of his third star.
The French chef claimed an inspector alleged that he had put Cheddar cheese into his soufflé - "I put saffron in it,” he said. “And the gentleman who came thought it was Cheddar because it was yellow. It's just crazy," Veyrat said.
The case which has been dubbed 'Cheddar Gate' will be heard next month.