When dining out, we look to many sources for inspiration or advice. The most respected of these sources must be the Michelin star, which is given to only the best restaurants in the world. One star is awarded for excellent cooking, while a second is given for a restaurants you should go out of your way to try. The final, third star is only given to restaurants that are destinations unto themselves.
So the notion that any chef lucky enough to earn a Michelin star after such hard work and who is then willing to give it back seems crazy. However, just last October Chef Andre Chiang announced that he would be closing his two Michelin-starred restaurant named Andre, thus returning his star in the process.
While Chef Andre is the first chef in Singapore to return his stars, he is not the first chef to do so and he has many famous chefs across the globe doing the same thing. Back in September, one of France’s most decorated and acclaimed chefs, Chef Sébastien Bras, gave up his famed restaurant Le Suquet, which held a three-star rating.
While some famous chefs, such as the infamous Marco Pierre White, have challenged the knowledge and quality of those who hand out the famed cuisine accreditations, many of the latest chefs to give up their stars have cited more personal reasons.
Chef Sébastien Bras said : “I will continue to practice the profession that I love [and] continue to share the taste of Aubrac, our territory, the source of inspiration and creativity,” shortly after announcing that he would be giving the stars back. He later explained: “I will be able to feel free without asking myself whether my creations will please [the] Michelin judges.”
This comes as no surprise as Michelin inspectors can arrive unannounced at any moment, meaning that brilliance must be maintained 100 per cent of the time. While many of us see chefs as fiery-tempered gods of the kitchen, they do suffer the same stresses as the rest of us. We just hope that with such a release of stress, these amazing chefs can get back to doing what they love: cooking.