Updated February 28, 4:05 PM CT
Chef Sebastien Bras
Stress at the top:
Restaurant asks Michelin to remove 'stars'
Sebastien Bras, a French chef with three Michelin stars says he wants the stars removed from Le Suquet restaurant in the village of Laguiole in Scotland. Boath House, which houses the restaurant, is a 16th-century Georgian mansion set on 22 acres of land with an ornamental lake, streams and a walled garden dating back to around 1550.
The owners of the luxury hotel at Auldearn, near Nairn, said they had enjoyed a place in the coveted guide but did not expect to be in the latest edition. Don and Wendy Matheson said they wanted to "re-evaluate their relationship" with Michelin and hoped to encourage more local residents to visit the hotel and restaurant.
Mrs. Matheson said: "Whilst we are extremely proud of the Michelin star we gained ten years ago and it undoubtedly enhanced our reputation, our restaurant has consistently made a loss. "We believe that the expectations from Michelin are at odds with achievable profit margins and put an enormous stress on a small family-run business like ours."
"The feedback we are hearing time and time again from our customers is that they want an experience that is more informal and relaxed and this extends to the restaurant, the food and even how it is served." Mrs. Matheson added: "The aim is to provide a warm, comfortable touch of contemporary luxury combined with charm. "Using local artisanal suppliers, the interiors of this design-led restaurant with rooms intends to deliver a Highland experience without undue formality.
"The expectation that goes with (a star) is so stressful," he says. Sebastien Bras also cited that stress and a desire "to start a new chapter" when he asked Michelin to remove the three stars earned by his restaurant, Le Suquet in France, last week. Wendy Matheson says they've heard from customers who want a "more informal and relaxed" experience, and that's what they hope to provide in an updated House.
The editor of the Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland responded, "It's obviously up to individual restaurants how they want to run their businesses."
The restaurant has held the stars for the past decade.
Originally published Wednesday, September 12, 2017
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