Michelin allows French chef to hand back his three stars

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The statement from Bras follows two other French chefs who closed their restaurants due to the vast pressure of three Michelin stars.

In a first, Michelin is agreeing to strip a restaurant of its stars.

"You're inspected two or three times a year, you never know when.every meal that goes out could be inspected", said Bras.

Le Suquet was among the 27 French restaurants holding three stars in the 2017 guide. "It is hard for us to have a restaurant in the guide which does not wish to be in it", she stated.

Sebastien Bras, 46, whose signature dish, "gargouillou", made with asparagus, baby spinach, herbs, rocket, cherry tomatoes and edible flowers, is considered one of France's finest culinary creations, has held the maximum three stars for 18 years.

She added that it was the first time that the guide had received a "public withdrawal of this sort", with other restaurants dropping out when chefs retired or closed their restaurants, or the concept had changed.

Dorland Clauzel confirmed that Le Suquet would not feature in the 2018 edition of the French Michelin guide when it is announced next Monday.

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. "I want to be liberated from the pressure", Bras was quoted by the New York Times as saying.

He asked to be allowed to continue his work with a free spirit and in serenity away from the world of rankings, without tension, and "to offer a cuisine and service that represents that spirit and our land". The day I no longer wanted to be behind my stove, I put my hands up and said: 'I'm out of here.' It's all or nothing with me.

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