Following the announcement of Michelin's 2014 stars for Belgium and the Main Cities of Europe, one Flemish chef has decided to give his star back. Frederick Dhooge of 't Huis van Lede in East Flanders revealed on the restaurant's Facebook page that he did not want his Michelin star or his points in the Gault-Millau restaurant guide. Per Facebook's translation, he says: "The essence of the kitchen in 't Huis van Lede lies with the product, prepared according to the classical way and with respect for our own gourmet traditions and values. We noticed that this is not always understood by a group of customers that expect a spectacle of stars and points kitchen."
Dhooge seems to be tired of customers who aren't interested in simple food from a Michelin starred restaurant. Dhooghe explained his decision to Het Laatste Nieuws (translated by Google): "I want to be free in my kitchen. Fried chicken served without them saying that 'much less' is a star thing." Dhooghe is not the first chef to renounce his Michelin standing with the hopes of focusing on simpler fare. Back in 2011, French restaurant Le Lisita gave back its star to transform itself into a brasserie.
· 't Huis van Lede [Facebook via @ElizabethOnFood]
· Vlaamse Sterrenchef Geeft Zijn Ster terug Aan Michelin [HLN, in Flemish]
· All Michelin Coverage on Eater [-E-]