Chefs, or cooks as I prefer to describe them, seem to be a sensitive lot. Whilst I like a good meal like the rest of us, I think estimates of their skill in the kitchen is a bit overdone. I like to think that if I had spent years knocking up meals, I would be a dab hand at it.
But it is the way of the world that the best need to be recognised as such and in the world of culinary arts, getting three Michelin stars is the highest accolade. But as we used to say in the financial services world, what goes up can also go down.
There has been a bit of a stushie, following the Michelin Guide’s decision last January to downgrade Marc Veryat’s La Maison des Bois, near Grenoble, if you are thinking of going, from three stars to a paltry two. This decision has got Monsieur Veryat stewing.
It is alleged that what got up the Michelin inspector’s nose was the suspicion that Veryat had used Cheddar in a cheese souffle rather than the French stalwarts of Reblochon, Beaufort and Tomme. The combative Veyat accuses the inspector of talking through his serviette and that he had used saffron which gave the French fromage its yellowish hue.
Veryat. claiming that the downgrade was “profoundly offensive” and gave him “a depression”, has put matters in the hands of his lawyer and the case is expected to go before the courts in November. If nothing else, the redoubtable Monsieur Veryat can certainly cook up a storm.