The Dark Side Of Michelin Stars! One Chef Rejects Them! A Famous Chef’s Suicide! The Pressure To Cook Three Star Food!

The Magic Of Food!

When you see an incredibly inventive dish, created by a world renowned Chef, it makes your mouth water. However, imagine the pressure for these Chefs to turn out incredible food day after day after day…

For some Chefs, the pressure to get Michelin Stars, the industry’s most widely acknowledged achievement, is more than they can handle.

In fairness, the Michelin Guide is iconic – their original goal was to offer reviews that would help travelers find a good place to eat – and this guide is still revered around the world. That said, the pressure to score those “Michelin Stars” has a downside as well…

I posted this story last year – an acclaimed Chef asked the legendary Michelin Guide NOT to review him – he didn’t want his stars!

Chef Sebastian Bras Says “No Thanks” To Coveted Michelin Stars!

As Newser reported:

“To receive a Michelin star, let alone three, is a coveted honor for most chefs. But Sebastien Bras isn’t most chefs, announcing Wednesday he wants his restaurant, Le Suquet in Laguiole, France, out of the famous guide due to the pressure, the Guardian reports.”

What an amazing restaurant! As you can see, the location is incredible, and inside, Le Suquet has the style of the world’s best restaurants – and is serving that level of food as well…

Still, Chef Bras says the pressure of that “star” system is something he no longer wants any part of…the story goes on to report:

“The three-star chef made his wishes known in a Facebook video, noting “at 46 years old, I want to give a new meaning to my life … and redefine what is essential.” He called his move “a new chapter of my professional life” that will allow him to have “so much passion for the kitchen.”

According to The Guardian:

“A member of the executive committee for Michelin, which says Bras’ request is the first time a chef has opted out without a restaurant undergoing some kind of major overhaul or closing, notes that while “we note and we respect” Bras’ plea, her team is still reviewing it and that doesn’t mean it’s a definite.”

Chef Bras isn’t the only one to chafe under this ratings system – see more about why he chose to speak out by clicking here:

There was another case where a Chef’s suicide was linked to the Michelin Guide:

Bernard Loiseau's Widow speaks

The Tragic Story Of Chef Bernard Loiseau…

One of France’s greatest Chefs committed suicide, and two books tell his entire story…


I read a great book about acclaimed French Chef Bernard Loiseau, whose quest for three Michelin stars formed the basis of “Burgundy Stars”:

Burgundy Stars by William Echikson – 1995

This riveting book looked at Chef Loiseau’s quest to get his Michelin Stars, and the creativity he put into his cooking.

Then, a decade later, another book told the dark side of that quest.

The Perfectionist: Life and Death in Haute Cuisine by Rudolph Chelminski – 2006.

This followup book looked at the pressure Chef Loiseau was under, and his fear that he was going to lose one of his Michelin Stars…this book really shows you how much pressure a Chef is under to achieve perfection – there are many sides to this story, but he clearly was under pressure to maintain his superlative standing….you can read more about this story here:

So while it’s great fun to eat at a Michelin-starred restaurant, the pressure to maintain a “three Michelin star” standard is brutal on a Chef…let me know what you think.

Categories: Art, Awards, Books / Media, cookbooks, Food, food blog, Food Review, Memoirs, Paris, Pop Culture, Recipes, Restaurants, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir, Wacky Food

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6 replies

  1. Of course to get to the point where you can opt out of a star system, you generally have to be worthy of several in the first place 😉

  2. When I still lived (and ate out a lot) in London, we always used to say “The more Michelin stars, the smaller the portions”. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

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