French Chef Gives Back Michelin Stars

It's the first time it's happened in the guide's history

Despite the glory (and the promise of a never-empty dining room) a Michelin star brings, not all chefs crave the pressure that comes from being mentioned in the infamous red booklet.

For French chef Sébastien Bras, the possibility that an inspector could come in at any moment is what's driving him to give back all three of the stars at his restaurant, Le Suquet, one of just 27 places in France to hold the guide's highest distinction.

"You're inspected two or three times a year, you never know when. Every meal that goes out could be inspected. That means that, every day, one of the 500 meals that leaves the kitchen could be judged," he explains to AFP. Though Michelin admits this is technically the first time in its history for a restaurant to do so, Eater notes other chefs have "given back" their stars by changing their restaurants' concepts to something different enough to disqualify themselves.

The guide has been known to change lives—both for better or for worse—but more and more recipients are viewing the accolade as a double-edged sword. Karen Keygnaert, a chef in Flanders, famously refused to accept her star early last year, while in Bangkok, Supinya Junsuta also expressed a desire to give hers back, due to the endless lines at her crab omelet stall.