French chef Marc Veyrat has returned to the summit of the Michelin Guide for France in 2018, after a serious skiing accident and a restaurant fire threatened to curtail his career at different points in the last 13 years.
Marc Veyrat has re-asserted his position at the top of cuisine in France after being awarded three Michelin stars at his La Maison des Bois restaurant in Manigod, Haue-Savoie, eastern France.
Veyrat, who has been dubbed by some observers as the ‘comeback king’ of French fine dining, was one of two chefs to see themselves and their restaurants join the the three-star club. Michelin awarded 28 restaurants three stars in France.
Restaurant Christophe Bacquié, based at Hotel du Castellet in Provence, was the other newcomer at this elite level.
But it was Veyrat who dominated the early headlines.
He once held six Michelin stars – also rated 20 out of 20 in France’s Gault Millau guide – and has been long held up as a genius of both a molecular and ecological approach to cooking.
But he flirted with retirement around a decade ago following a serious skiing accident – only to come back and subsequently see his Alpine restaurant, Maison des Bois, severely damaged by fire 2015.
‘I’m not sure whether to do a Zidane and hang up my boots or whether to carry on,’ Veyrat told Decanter.com back in October 2007, a month before undergoing major surgery as part of his recovery from breaking both legs while skiing.
He ended up handing back his Michelin stars.
Yet, even at this time, Veyrat had spoken of his interest in creating a restaurant at his native Manigod to pursue his passion for wild, plant-based food.
Maison des Bois embodies this, making use of wild Savoyard herbs and flowers.
Michelin said, ‘In his chalet perched at an altitude of 1,650 metres, chef Marc Veyrat has created an almost self-sufficient place by making use of local wild produce – thereby elevating it.’
The Michelin France 2018 guide also contains 85 two-star restaurants, including five new ones, and 508 one-star restaurants, including 50 new ones.
The youngest chefs to gain a one star rating were Anthony Lumet, for his restaurant Le Pousse Pied in La Tranche-sur-Mer, and Guillaume Mombroisse, chef-proprietor of SEPT in Toulouse. They are 27 years old, Michelin said.