Gordon Ramsay has slammed chefs who returned their Michelin stars, criticising them for not being able, or willing, to take the heat under the spotlight.
He feels that the accolade is not just for the chef but the entire team, and rejecting the stars deprives others of a chance to bask in glory.
“Whether it’s an Emmy, an Oscar, a Bafta or a Michelin star, it’s the icing on the cake, not just for the chef but also for the staff who are equally as focused as the owner,” Deadline quoted Ramsay as saying.
He feels that the stars, bestowed by the Michelin Guide since 1926, serve as a useful guide to consumers with editions that have since expanded to cities such as Singapore, Taipei, Shanghai and Bangkok in the region.
Ramsay, whose self-named London restaurant boasts three Michelin stars, the top ranking, said he was upset when chefs said they got “tired and bored” by the recognition.
When his New York restaurant was stripped of its two Michelin stars, he reportedly compared the experience to losing a girlfriend and losing the Champions League football crown.
But not all chefs have welcomed the Michelin honour, with French chef Sébastien Bras, for instance, renouncing his three stars in 2018, saying that the distinction put too much pressure on him and his staff.
In 2017, chef Andre Chiang said he did not want his restaurant in Taipei to be considered for the Taiwan guide, adding that he wanted the freedom to experiment with his culinary creations.
Still, the stars are mostly coveted by chefs, some of whom have been known to vociferously dispute the verdict of the inspectors who decide their fate.
Marc Veyrat of La Maison des Bois in France revealed recently that he was depressed for months after it lost one of its three stars, following what he slammed as amateurish inspection.
In an interview with Lyon Capitale, he said: “Let them put on an apron and get in the kitchen. We are waiting. Let them show us what they know how to do.
“The Michelin (inspectors), they’re basically amateurs. They couldn’t cook a decent dish.”
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