A court is due to decide on Tuesday whether Michelin food guide experts must justify their decision to strip French chef Marc Veyrat of his coveted third star.
Veyrat is suing the guide after it suggested he used English Cheddar in his souffle instead of French Reblochon and Beaufort, and later chose to revoke his third Michelin star.
He is demanding details on the criteria leading to such a decision, the evaluation methods used and the level of training Michelin inspectors receive.
In response, Michelin is to countersue the chef for damages totalling €30,000.
A court in Nanterre is expected to issue a ruling on Tuesday.
“They made a mistake,” the chef said in November. “I have a lot of respect for Michelin in France”, he said, but “they made a mistake on me.”
Veyrat tried to get his La Maison des Bois, in Savoie, removed from the latest edition of the food guide altogethe but was told it was too late.
He now tells AFP that turnover at his restaurant has increased by seven percent since the Michelin demotion. “I really don’t need them,” he said.
Richard Malka, lawyer for Michelin, said the case poses “the question of respecting freedom of criticism and opinion in our country.”
“This freedom can not disappear because of the susceptibility of this or that public figure to legitimate criticism,” he told AFP.
“Through a convoluted procedure … it is this freedom that he is trying to restrict,” Malka said.