Getting a Michelin star is a lifetime accomplishment for most restaurants, but it can also cause performance anxiety for the prestige and pressure associated with it.
For this reason, French three-Michelin star chef Sébastien Bras has demanded to be excluded from the next Michelin food guide in what certainly is a world first.
The 46-year-old owner of Le Suquet restaurant in Laguiole appeared on a Facebook Live to explain his decision.
He wrote in the caption:
“Ten years after taking over the reins of the establishment founded by my father, Michel Bars, in 1992, and honoured by a third star since 1999, I’ve decided, in agreement with all my family, to open a new chapter in my professional life without the award of the Michelin Guide, but with the same passion for my cuisine. I intend to continue with my faithful team to make people live at Suquet the magical experience of Aubrac [a green plateau where the restaurant is located], always with this quest for excellence.”
He kicks off his livestream citing a French author, Camille Belguise, to explain his feelings:
“In silence and solitude, one can hear nothing but the essential.”
Bras later explained to AFP the kind of pressure he was under:
“You’re inspected two or three times a year, you never know when. Every meal that goes out could be inspected. That means that, every day, one of the 500 meals that leaves the kitchen could be judged.”
“Maybe I will be less famous but I accept that,” he said, free of creating plates “without wondering whether my creations will appeal to Michelin’s inspectors.”
A member of Michelin, Claire Dorland Clauzel, said in response: “We note and we respect it.”