Article published on the 2009-02-25 Latest update 2009-02-25 11:19 TU
"I'm not giving up," says Veyrat. This is just au revoir and I hope that I will be able to start up again when I'm fit again."
Veyrat denies that he has been worn down by the pressure of being a Michelin-starred chef, which led another French chef, Bernard Loiseau, to commit suicide in 2003.
"On the contrary, I pay tribute to gastronomic journalists at Michelin and Gault Millau [another well-known restaurant guide] who make chefs famous," he says, adding, "You don't bite the hand that feeds you."
Veyrat, who is 58-years-old, is a self-taught cook, whose parents were farmers in the Savoy region, where the French Alps are situated.
Apart from his trademark black hat, he is famous for discovering little-known wild herbs and using them in his cookery. Dishes on offer at his Auberge de l'Eridan include scallops with snow crocus pistils and a local lake fish, omble chevalier, with wild poppies.
Veyrat, like farmer and activist José Bové, is an opponent of malbouffe (low-quality fast-food) and has opened an organic fast-food outlet in Annecy, as well as a botany museum, cooking school and restaurant in the village of his birth.