French chef deflated after Michelin Guide reportedly strips third star over souffle review

jerrydeutsch/iStock(NEW YORK) — When a famed French chef found out his world-renowned restaurant would lose one of its highly coveted Michelin stars reportedly over a soufflé review, he was deflated but whipped up a plan to try and earn it back.

La Maison des Bois (The House in the Woods), chef Marc Veyrat’s restaurant tucked away in the French Alps, is known for its modern cuisine and gastronomic tasting menu, earning three Michelin Guide stars in February 2018.

Less than one year later, when the Michelin Guide released its 110th edition in January, chef Veyrat found out his restaurant’s third star was removed.

Veyrat, a self-taught rustic chef who grew up in the same mountainside town as his 25-seat restaurant, has filed a civil case against the famed restaurant guide for “the exact reasons for the downgrading,” the chef’s lawyer Emmanuel Ravanas said in a statement on Monday.

“Marc Veyrat has, for decades, been used to his cooking being graded, evaluated, compared, and he knows well that Michelin stars are not awarded for life, and that one must strive for perfection each day,” Ravanas said in the statement obtained by ABC News. “He can accept anything, as long as the criticism is accurate and well founded.”

The chef is seeking the guide’s “objective reasons for its decisions” which, according to his lawyer, has affected him and his staff both personally and professionally.

“It was claimed that he had served cheddar cheese in his restaurant, him, a man who has worked passionately since the beginning of his career with local Savoyard products,” his lawyer explained.

Chef Veyrat, 69, told France Inter radio that he was “dishonored” by the anonymous Michelin inspector who reportedly claimed that the restaurant used cheddar from England in his classic French cheese soufflé, instead of France’s Reblochon, according to the BBC.

“I put saffron in it, and the gentleman who came thought it was cheddar because it was yellow,” Veyrat explained in the interview.

A court hearing has been set for Nov. 27, Ravanas said.

The famed gastronomic guide gives its highest three star accolade to restaurants that are “worth a special journey.”

The restaurant’s overview on the Michelin Guide site currently shows just two stars and notes that it has “exceptional cuisine” that is “worth the detour.”

The Michelin Guide did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

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