Marc Veyrat, the only chef to receive the double accolade of six Michelin stars and a perfect 20/20 rating in Gault Millau, closes his restaurant for the season at the end of this week with no guarantee he will re-open.
Veyrat undergoes major surgery next month to repair the effects of a skiing accident two years ago when he broke his legs in several places.
And in an interview with decanter.com he has said he may retire.
‘I’m not sure whether to do a Zidane and hang up my boots or whether to carry on,’ he said. ‘I am afraid of becoming bored.’
Speaking in his restaurant last week, where he served nitrogen-frozen ‘beignets’ with a filling which had the flavour of mushrooms grown on the forest floor, he said constant pain has drained his energy and creativity. ‘I am an artist – very up and down in mood.’
In an effort to regain his mobility he is undergoing a major operation to break and re-set the bones of both legs. He faces six months rehabilitation.
Last year Veyrat sold his winter restaurant La Ferme de Mon Père. His restaurant La Maison de Marc Veyrat, in Haute-Savoie in the Alps, has recently been refurbished, and he is involved in a joint project with his daughter Carine, a pastry chef, who he has set up in the nearby La Reine des Prés brasserie.
The project closest to his heart however is a new ‘ecological’ restaurant at his birthplace Manigod, on a plateau 1800 metres above sea level.
Café Bio will serve gourmet vegetarian food which will showcase the wild plant-based cuisine he has developed in collaboration with the botanist Francois Couplan.
He is frustrated however by regulations. ‘I don’t know if we will get it off the ground – it depends on my health and whether we get planning permission for the solar panels which are not currently permitted in this commune. If this was Germany or Austria it would already have happened,’ he said.
Written by Fiona Beckett in Veyrier-du-Lac