To receive a Michelin star, let alone three, is a coveted honor for most chefs. But Sebastien Bras isn't most chefs, announcing Wednesday he wants his restaurant, Le Suquet in Laguiole, France, out of the famous guide due to the pressure, the Guardian reports. The three-star chef made his wishes known in a Facebook video, noting "at 46 years old, I want to give a new meaning to my life … and redefine what is essential." He called his move "a new chapter of my professional life" that will allow him to have "so much passion for the kitchen." A member of the executive committee for Michelin, which says Bras' request is the first time a chef has opted out without a restaurant undergoing some kind of major overhaul or closing, notes that while "we note and we respect" Bras' plea, her team is still reviewing it and that doesn't mean it's a definite.
Bras, who took over the restaurant from his father, Michel, more than a decade ago, tells AFP he can no longer take reviewers showing up unannounced at any time, usually a few times a year. "I want to feel free without asking myself whether my creations will please the Michelin inspectors," he says. He adds that the 2003 suicide of French chef Bernard Loiseau, whose restaurant had been rumored to being close to losing its third star, was a factor. His father is supportive of his decision, AFP reports, via Eater, and another three-star chef who shut his own restaurant tells the Telegraph, "When the Michelin guide is no longer a driving force, it's better to change lanes." Bras knows this may knock him down a few pegs in the cooking world, but it doesn't faze him. "Maybe I will be less famous, but I accept that," Bras tells AFP. (London has become a Michelin hot spot.)