Food & Drink | September 23, 2017 5:00 am

Why One French Chef Is Giving Back His Michelin Stars

Sometimes prestige comes with too much pressure.

French chef Sebastien Bras looks on in the kitchen of his three-star restaurant Le Suquet, in Laguiole, southern France, on September 21, 2017, after announcing that he asked not to be included in the Michelin Guide starting in 2018. Sebastien Bras, chef of the three-star restaurant Le Suquet, announced on September 20, 2017, he asked not to be included in the Michelin Guide starting in 2018. (AFP PHOTO/REMY GABALDA/Getty)
French chef Sebastien Bras looks on in the kitchen of his three-star restaurant Le Suquet, in Laguiole, southern France, on September 21, 2017, after announcing that he asked not to be included in the Michelin Guide starting in 2018. Sebastien Bras, chef of the three-star restaurant Le Suquet, announced on September 20, 2017, he asked not to be included in the Michelin Guide starting in 2018. (AFP PHOTO/REMY GABALDA/Getty)

Sébastien Bras, a top chef and owner of the three-star Michelin restaurant Le Suquet in Southern France, announced in a Facebook Live this week that he and his family have decided they’d prefer to be excluded from future Michelin guides, according to Quartz.

“Today we would like to go forward with a free spirit, to continue serenely, without tension, to maintain our establishment with a kitchen, a welcome, a service which are the expression of our own spirit and of the land,” he reportedly said.

Quartz notes that high-pressure performance ranking systems like Michelin’s have a measurable impact on employees — one that’s often negative. Quartz references the acclaimed French chef, Bernard Loiseau, who died by suicide in 2003 after he was reportedly warned that his restaurant’s performance was slipping. It appears Bras and his family are not interested in that same type of pressure boiling over in their kitchen.

“Right now, it is up to me to close this chapter, to take us out of the competition, while changing nothing about our way of doing things, continuing just as before, always challenging our team to satisfy our clients with the clear objective of excellence,” Bras reportedly said.