French chef pleads Michelin to take away his 3 stars

I sympathize with the guy for sure. The star rating must be a god send for certain restaurants but i would imagine that having that constant pressure must be exhausting. Not only over the possibility of disappointing a critic but of people going to eat at that restaurant specifically because of the review. That seems like too much to live up to day in and day out. If a restaurant can make that work and thrive all props to them but i feel bad for those that crack under the pressure.


You’re a restaurant. Your meals are going to be judged.


So he is not worried about one of his customers getting one of those meals not good enough for the Michelin Man.


I mean that’s how all reviews work, yes.

Probably. I don’t have an exhaustive knowledge of all reviewing platforms.

I see no reason a not-for-profit review site can’t exist.

The biggest problem is that reviewing things such as food, especially fine dining, is extremely expensive - and people expect for Michelin tasters to have a large array of experience to draw from compared to your average Yelp review. So there’s a bit of a barrier for entry, especially for something that’s essentially just a luxury.

If you’re asking why there isn’t a non-profit Yelp alternative on the other hand, I guess the closest thing is Consumer Reports? But it’s not for like, restaurants.

Edit: I’m an idiot and meant to reply to @anon61833566, like you were doing, not you directly. So uh, I’ll just leave this here. But know that I’m an idiot.


I know of at least two restaurants that have closed down and re-opened with different names so that they can get away from the pressure of trying to retain their Michelin stars.

I’m actually surprised that more chefs don’t request exclusion before they even find themselves in the guide.

No worries. I was a bit confused.

That makes sense.

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You all aren’t saying anything I do not know as a foodie and home chef. (Seriously. Check my instagram. You’ll get what I mean).

I’m saying for a pro chef. Michelin presents a bit of an issue. You don’t have a say or choice. Which is to say a bit crap if you ask me.

Bibendum… he is a man. a man with feelings.
Bibendum is his name.


Sort of maybe? There’s been a growing trend for refusing or “returning” Michelin stars over the last decade. Either in protest over Michelin standards or over this pressure sort of thing or the overwhelming effect it can have on some businesses.

I’m not sure how it works exactly cause Michelin doesn’t give details on its process. But those places that have refused or returned seem to have been delisted. And I’m sure there is legal recourse in civil court I’d there truly are negative consequences. Even if as public entities restraints can’t prevent people from publishing in connection to their name.

It is. I’ve got two of the fucking things and I don’t even have a restaurant.

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So, why can’t this guy just rename his restaurant every year? Le Suquet 2016, Le Suquet 2017, etc. The cost would probably be minimal (compared to the cost of his anxiety) and involve some state filing fees (less than $500).

No problem, just play this in the kitchen every shift.

The cynic in me says he might have done this to get some free advertising. But maybe that’s just my usual snarky self commenting before the coffee has kicked in.

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The laddie doth protest too much, youthinks?

The “review” industry really is getting out of hand. Every single person thinks it’s their obligation now to review every single experience they have. It’s especially bad for those in the food service industry, but Home Depot wants me to review my cashier FFS. And Yelp is a hellscape of people having opinions on croissants and cups of coffee and how their unreasonable, unfounded, uninformed expectations were not met.


Yelp is the absolute scourge of young businesses trying to succeed. I live in a busy city square with a lot of college kids and young professionals, and restaurants come and go every six months to a year, turnover is extremely high. And all of them monitor their Yelp accounts religiously, knowing that their star score can make or break them. And inevitably they’ll be docked stars from someone who got rained on or stood behind someone who farted or didn’t know what sukiyaki was when they ordered it, and gives them one star because they had a bad day. It’s ruthless.

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I am not using Yelp or similar sites and I hate that Apple Maps systematically tells me to install it. Why would I write reviews for free so that a commercial site can make money from my work?


Agreed, but I can empathize with the situation. He is having the reasons he does what he does subtly shifted from “I’m going to make the best food” to “I’ve got 3 stars, now I have to perform to this rating system as well as make good food”. In some cases, the added layer of extrinsic reward can muddy up the original intrinsic love of the art and make it less enjoyable. I’ve no doubt that he still loves to cook for his reasons, but is painfully aware of what the effects of the external stresses of the three stars do to his enjoyment of his craft, and even his ability to experiment and try new things without worrying about his restaurant being downgraded.

I would say he is trying to do what you suggest and realizes being a part of this ratings system makes that harder.