"A Breach of the EU Directive Against Egregious Cliché Embodiment"

(The quote is from October Man, a splendid fantasy novella by Ben Aaronovitch, but it seemed so appropriate here.)

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Agence France-Press reports:

In a case that could have far-reaching consequences for restaurant critics, chef Marc Veyrat is claiming he was "dishonored" by the red guide when it stripped his flagship restaurant in the French Alps of its coveted third star in January.

Dubbed "Cheddargate" by wags, he claimed that an "incompetent" Michelin inspector mistakenly thought he had adulterated a soufflé with the much-maligned English cheese instead of using France's Reblochon, Beaufort and Tomme varieties….

[Veyrat] said the Michelin review nearly broke him, sending him into an eight-month depression, and leaving his cooks in tears….

The larger-than-life figure, instantly recognizable for his wide-brimmed black Savoyard hat and dark glasses, told AFP that the case … is a matter of "honor" for him.

"That they said that my soufflé was full of cheddar … and that they took 'my virtual scallops' to be real coquilles Saint-Jacques when they were made from a base of burbot (fish) livers from Lake Geneva shows a lack of competence," he said.

I sympathize with M. Veyrat, and even with his over-the-top reaction (though I can't speak to the merits of the French lawsuit); nonetheless, it totally put me in mind of the quote that I've used as the title of the post. I highly recommend October Man, which is part of Aaronovitch's charming Rivers of London fantasy-police-procedural series.

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  1. he claimed that an “incompetent” Michelin inspector mistakenly thought he had adulterated a soufflé with the much-maligned English cheese instead of using France’s Reblochon, Beaufort and Tomme varieties

    OMG. The chef used English cheese instead of French? That could cause the undoing of the French Republic. Rioting in the streets, at least!

    1. Rioting in the streets?

      Sorry, we’re all busy at the moment with the yellow vest protests; maybe we can do cheese next month.

  2. Funny, as I recall we were just subject to an article about the infallibility of private regulation, including in the form of private reviewers (link).

    Per that article, if this Michelin Guide is truly so slanderous, it will promptly go out of business.

    So seeing as it has not, then clearly their edict about the cheese is tolerable to the “market”.

    1. In the Cheddargate case; I think the plaintiff has as Gouda chance of prevailing as anybody. In fact, you could say that winning will be a feta compli. [funnier if said aloud]

      1. Your assessment of plaintiff’s chances is IMO whey too optimistic.

        1. There’s gotta be a joke about fighting the Kurds in there somewhere.

          1. The whey of the gun.

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