Why the Chef Gave Back his Michelin Star

The chef said:
The food world was stunned this week when Le Lisita, a restaurant in the south of France, handed back its Michelin star.

Why on earth would a restaurant give back its coveted Michelin star?
The best known and most highly respected of all the restaurant ratings, Michelin stars are awarded very sparingly. A star (or two or three) in Le Guide Rouge can make or break a restaurant.
But so can a bad economy.

A Michelin star signifies a standard of décor and service. The guidebook’s inspectors demand it, diners know to expect it, and bankers are more than happy to extend credit lines for capital improvements to starred establishments. According to the Society for Quantitative Gastronomy, a restaurant’s prices will rise by 20% after the award to offset the higher operating costs.

Thanks, but no thanks.
Following the accolade, Le Lisita found itself barely breaking even, serving haute cuisine in a rareified atmosphere in the midst of an economic crisis, while humble, affordable brasseries and bistros were doing a roaring trade. Since giving back the cherished award, Chef Olivier Douett has revived his former, brasserie format.

Le Lisita now offers a menu with starter and plat du jour for €23.60 ($33.54). Each waiter looks after twenty to thirty customers, rather than the five or six of the one star restaurant. Chef Douett now feels like he is cooking for his customers, not just for stars.



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3 Responses to Why the Chef Gave Back his Michelin Star

  1. gnstr says:

    Its fantastic when people stand up to what they believe, despite common held views. Its even better when they make decisions in the face of the vanity that has so perfectly encapsulates society today.

  2. Janice says:

    Sounds good to me, too. Not that I need any more reasons to travel to the south of France, but Le Lisita is on my list.

  3. Good food with reasonable price….sounds great!

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