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French chef Marc Veyrat sues Michelin amid cheddar cheese claim

Veyrat has told French media he is taking the Michelin Guide to court after the ‘dishonour’ of losing his third star at La Maison des Bois – following an apparent mix-up over cheese soufflé.

Michelin demoted Marc Veyrat’s La Maison des Bois restaurant in the Haut-Savoie region to two stars in January 2019, having given it three stars a year earlier.

Veyrat told Franceinfo this week that he has been ‘dishonoured’ and sent into depression by the move.

Demotion over cheese soufflé? 

He repeated a claim that the demotion was partly due to a Michelin inspector wrongly believing his team used cheddar to make a soufflé – rather than local cheeses from the Alpine region, such as Beaufort, Reblochon and Tomme.

‘I put saffron in it,’ Veyrat told Franceinfo on Monday night (23 September). ‘The gentleman thought it was cheddar, because it was yellow.’

Veyrat’s lawyer told the AFP news agency that court action was being taken to gain the full reasoning behind the loss of a third star. A court hearing would be held on 27 November, the lawyer said.

Michelin response

Michelin said in a statement that it ‘understands the disappointment for Mr Veyrat, whose talent no one contests’, reported AFP.

Michelin added that it regretted Veyrat’s ‘unreasonable persistence’ over the allegations and would study the chef’s requests carefully and respond.

Removal from the guide?

Earlier this year, Veyrat demanded removal of Maison des Bois from the Michelin Guide completely.

But his request was denied and the Manigod-based restaurant remains listed with two stars, accompanied by a glowing description of Veyrat’s ability to surprise and astonish diners with his innovative dishes based on local ingredients. The only downside was the price, inspectors said.

Comeback king

Veyrat was dubbed the ‘comeback king’ by some observers after gaining three stars at Maison des Bois in the Michelin 2018 guide for France.

He had once held six Michelin stars in total, but a serious skiing accident nearly ended his career in the kitchen. He subsequently started Maison du Bois in his home town.

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