Chef Veyrat loses cheese court case against Michelin

Michelin guide stripped Marc Veyrat's La Maison des Bois restaurant of its coveted third star in January

31 December 2019

Chef Marc Veyrat has lost his court case against the Michelin Guide over its decision to strip him and his mountain restaurant of its third Michelin star.

Reviewers from the world-famous guide stripped Marc Veyrat's La Maison des Bois restaurant in Manigod, Haute-Savoie, of its coveted third star in January - prompting the chef to brand them 'incompetent' and claim that they had said he used English cheddar cheese in a French souffle rather than Reblochon, Beaufort and Tomme varieties.

Mr Veyrat, famous for his signature black hat and for using unusual botanical plants such as mountain plants, mountain herbs, and wild flowers in his recipes, accused a "new generation" at the Guide for "attacking institutions".

But the tribunal de grande instance de Nanterre said Mr Veyrat and his company SCS Marc Veyrat, "did not produce any documents relating to the existence of damage and the reality of their loss".

In fact, the chef told journalists that he "didn't really need the stars", claiming that bookings at the restaurant were up 7% year-on-year, and the venue was 'fully booked' between Christmas and New Year.

After failing to get his restaurant removed from the Guide after the review was published, Mr Veyrat went to court in a bid to force the prestigious guide to hand over its reviewers' notes. He also sought a symbolic €1 in damages.

"That they said that my soufflé was full of cheddar," Mr Veyrat said in November, when he took the case to court. "The fact that they took my 'virtual scallops' to be real coquilles Saint-Jacques when they were made from ... burbot livers from Lake Geneva shows a lack of competence," he said.

In the November court hearing, lawyers for the guide argued the reviews and ratings are for clients, "and are not owned by chefs".

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