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France/gastronomy

Michelin-starred chef Marc Veyrat closes restaurant

Article published on the 2009-02-25 Latest update 2009-02-25 11:19 TU

Marc Veyrat(Photo: Wikimedia commons)

Marc Veyrat
(Photo: Wikimedia commons)

Marc Veyrat, a daringly innovative French chef who has won three stars in the prestigious Michelin guide, is to close his restaurant near the French town of Annecy for reasons of health. But he says that he will reopen as soon as he has recovered from the after-effects of a ski accident which he suffered three years ago.

"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.