They are the holy grail for success-hungry chefs and can make or break restaurant in the blink of an eye.
But is the industry’s appetite for Michelin stars on the wane?
French chef Sébastien Bras has shocked the food world and dealt a blow to the gastronomic guide by asking to have his stars removed.
Bras runs the three-starred Le Suquet restaurant in Laguiole, southern France, 145-km north-west of Montpellier.
The 46-year-old said his job brought a great pressure and that he wanted to just continue working in a more serein fashion.
Michelin said it was the first time a three-starred chef had asked to no longer figure in the gastronomic bible.
Claire Dorland-Clauzel, a member of the Michelin’s executive committee, said the group would take note of the request and think about what they would do next.
She said the guide listened to what chefs say but that it was meant for customers not restaurateurs.
The next guide is due out in January or February of next year and restaurant visits are taking place up to mid-November.