Not every one can stomach the pressure of chasing, and retaining, a Michelin-star rating: Manish Mehrotra
Earlier this year, French chef Sébastien Bras gave back his three stars.
The suicide of renowned chefs Benoît Violier in 2016, and Bernard Loiseau in 2003 sent shock waves in the culinary world. In both cases, the apparent stress of losing their Michelin stars played a part.
Chefs spend their lives chasing the Michelin star and other ranking lists just to be considered one of the best in their industry. Manish Mehrotra, who is listed among Asia’s top chefs and is yet to be Michelin rated, believes often the pressure is self-inflicted.
“Honestly speaking, I think every chef in the world wants to get a Michelin star,” Mehrotra tells ETPanache.
“If somebody says ‘Oh no I don’t want it, I do my work’, they are lying. Every one, young or old, wants to get some recognition. There are chefs holding stars for 15 years, who can go and say I don’t require it. But someone who hasn’t had it, will crave for it.”
But for some, the stress isn’t worth it. Earlier this year, French chef Sébastien Bras gave back his three stars and was quoted saying, “Today we would like to go forward with a free spirit, to continue serenely, without tension.” Michelin agreed to take them back — a first for the gastronomical bible.
So, is the chase for recognition and the pressure it brings, justified?
Mehrotra offers some advice. “Everyone wants it but I would say if you do your work and you give your guests the correct experience, it will come to you. But if you don’t get it, it shouldn’t be considered the end of the world. The lists and stars can be motivating. But at times when people are telling you ‘Oh it’s another feather in your cap’ I like to tell them, ‘No, it’s another stone on my shoulder’.”.