A Michelin star is arguably the greatest accolade that a chef can receive, and celebrated French restaurateur Marc Veyrat had three for his Haute-Savoie restaurant La Maison des Bois.
However reviewers from the gastronomic bible decided to take away one of the stars following an inspection, and Veyrat did not take the loss lying down.
The chef, known for his trademark black hat, has now demanded that his restaurant be removed from the Michelin Guide entirely, following what he called “incompetence” from reviewers.
“It’s like being at Cannes and being awarded the Palme d’Or and then a year later they call you to tell you they’re taking it back,” Veyrat told French radio station RTL.
“There’s a huge pressure on chefs here. I’m just getting over a bout of depression,” he added. “I had depression for six months.”
Veyrat told RTL the loss of the star had affected all of his staff.
“My team had tears in their eyes,” he said. “I’m fighting for them because they don’t understand.”
The chef was particularly enraged by accusations that he had used Cheddar cheese instead of local ingredients.
“And they’ve insulted the whole region! They said we made a Cheddar soufflé! Can you believe it?” he said.
“We made it with Reblochon, Beaufort, Emmental, we paid tribute to the land here. And they got it so wrong!”
He called on the Michelin Guide to reveal “the real reason why you took our star.”
CNN has contacted Veyrat and the Michelin Guide for comment.
Veyrat’s website describes the restaurant as a place where “guests come to experience the chef’s never-ending creativity.”
“The 30-person dining room is decorated with wood and enjoys impressive views of the Aravis mountains and Mont Blanc: the perfect setting for a truly gourmet experience,” it continues.
The Michelin Guide describes La Maison du Bois as a luxurious restaurant in Manigod, the mountain village where Veyrat grew up.
A meal there is “worth the detour,” with high prices the only downside, according to the guide.
In September 2017, French chef Sébastien Bras – whose famed restaurant Le Suquet has held the maximum three-star rating for over a decade now – stunned the fine dining world by announcing that he wished to be left out of the 2018 edition of the guide. He said he could no longer cope with the pressure of meeting the standards expected of him.
Foodie travelers should book a flight to Tokyo, as the Japanese capital has more Michelin stars than any other city.
But those on a budget might be better off in Singapore, where the world’s cheapest Michelin star meal can be had for just SG$2, which is about US$1.42.
Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle, a humble hawker stall, received one star in the city state’s inaugural Michelin Guide in July 2016.