French chef Marc Veyrat has announced that he is launching legal action against the Michelin guide in France after his restaurant La Maison des Bois had its third star removed.
La Maison des Bois in Manigod in the Alps had only held three stars for just under a year before it was demoted to two stars again in January this year.
In July, Veyrat declared that he would return his remaining two stars, such was his outrage at the Michelin inspectors after they reportedly suggested he used Cheddar cheese in a soufflé when he had in fact used cheeses from the local region of Savoie, coloured with saffron.
But the Michelin Guide international director Gwendal Poullennec told Veyrat that the stars were not his to give back.
Now Veyrat has launched legal action in the hope that Michelin will be forced to “clarify the exact reasons” why they decided to remove the third star, his lawyer Emmanual Ravanas told AFP news agency.
In a statement, Michelin said: “We understand the disappointment of Mr Veyrat, whose talent no one disputes... we will study his requests carefully and respond."
Earlier this year, Veyrat revealed that he had been suffering from depression for several months. In a series of rhetorical questions directed at Michelin in an interview with French magazine Le Point, he said: “How dare you take the health of your chefs hostage? During our visit to your Paris offices in order to understand the reasons behind our demotion, we were able to confirm your profound incompetence. It makes me afraid for future generations. In fact, the only reason given was as a result of confusing an emulsion of Reblochon and Beaufort cheese with Cheddar…You are manipulators of gastronomy. You don’t know anything about the identity of the terroir.”
Veyrat is one of France’s most decorated chefs, having won three Michelin stars three times, as well as scoring 20/20 twice in the exacting Gault & Millau guide.
A legal hearing is set for 27 November, according to Veyrat’s lawyer.