Gavel lying down

Celebrity French chef Mark Veyrat and the Michelin Guide is set to go before a French court next Wednesday. Veyrat filed a complaint after his La Maison des Bois restaurant was demoted to two Michelin stars in January, a year after he secured the industry’s highest ranking. The case is the first time a chef has sued a French institution and forced it to hand over confidential notes.

Veyrat claimed the downgrade was caused by a misunderstanding of a cheese souffle. He argued that a Michelin inspector had mistakenly thought he used English cheddar in the dish, instead of using France’s reblochon, beaufort and tome varieties.

“I put saffron in it, and the gentleman who came thought it was cheddar because it was yellow,” said Veyrat. “That’s what you call a knowledge of a place? It’s just crazy.”

The chef is indignant in seeing the anonymous inspector’s notes; however, it is noted that the Michelin guide entry on the restaurant did not mention cheese souffle. His lawyers hope that the Nanterre court in Paris will make the Michelin guide release the relevant document. Veyrat recently told media that the demotion had left him depressed for eight months. He is asking a symbolic €1 for damages on the case.