Top Chefs

Michelin Winners Crack Under Pressure

Achieving a third Michelin star is the holy grail for many chefs, but Marc Veyrat, 58, has given his up. The day after the 100th edition of the famed Michelin guide was released, Veyrat announced he'd be closing his alpine restaurant Auberge de l'Eridan for "health reasons." In November, Olivier Roellinger, 53, handed back his three stars and closed Maisons de Bricourt, explaining, "Physically, I can no longer continue cooking. My legs no longer hold me." While both chefs cited health concerns, the pressure to maintain their thrice-starred status was said to be an important factor in their decisions, and one that has had serious consequences in the past—in 2003 Bernard Loiseau killed himself after it was rumored that he was to lose one of his three stars. Francois Simon, Le Figaro's food critic, likened holding onto the stars to doing a "London to Los Angeles flight as a pilot" each day. Both men intend to produce simpler fare, the kind the Michelin guide has recently been criticized for snubbing.