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French Chef Quits Restaurant Rating System

For over 100 years Michelin has not only produced high-quality auto tires but also the premiere guide to fine dining. Achieving or losing even one star in Michelin's restaurant rating can have a dramatic effect on the success of a restaurant. One famous French chef claimed, "Michelin is the only guide that counts." That's why the restaurant world was shocked when SÉbastien Bras, one of France's most celebrated chefs, declared that he wanted to be dropped from Michelin's rankings. For over 20 years Bras had been honored with three stars (the highest rating). Michelin's restaurant judges called his food "spellbinding."

But in September 2017, Bras said the pressure to perform was too much. Bras announced, "Today, at 46 years old, I want to give a new meaning to my life … and redefine what is essential." He said his job had given him a lot of satisfaction but there was also huge pressure that was inevitably linked to the three Michelin stars first given to the restaurant in 1999. He asked to be allowed to continue his work with a free spirit and in serenity away from the world of rankings, without tension.

Bras said, "Maybe I will be less famous but I accept that," adding that he would continue to cook excellent local produce "without wondering whether my creations will appeal to Michelin's inspectors."

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