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'New insect menu cost me my Michelin star'

Ben McPartland · 17 Mar 2014, 19:16

Published: 17 Mar 2014 19:16 GMT+01:00

When it comes to cuisine the French are often accused of not being the most adventurous and that charge might be supported by chef David Faure, who runs Aphrodite restaurant in Nice.

In 2010 the restaurant, which first opened in 2002, was honoured with its first Michelin star, but earlier this year it was taken away, much to Faure’s distress.

“My self-esteem took a hit,” he told Nice Matin. “As a chef I struggled for excellence in 2010 and my hard work was rewarded with a star."

The chef believes he paid the price for taking a high profile risk last year.

Last April he attempted to create a buzz around the restaurant by introducing a new "alternative menu" featuring worms and crickets. Not the type of item you would normally see on a menu in France, although all the insects were home grown.

“When I decided to work around edible insects, I knew that I was going against the rules. After the news reports we even received abuse through the post,” he said.

He says he was also told at the time by other chefs that he was making a mistake. 

“With insects on the menu I will never get back into the Michelin guide,” he said.

SEE ALSO: A complete list - France's new Michelin starred restaurants

Faure added that his restaurant also had problems like recruiting adequately trained staff and as a result had some difficult times.

However Faure is adamant that, even despite the loss of his prized star, he will stick to his guns.

“I will not change my way of doing things,” he said. “I have always claimed to be a free chef who does not bow to any diktat, including the Michelin guide book.

“Today I am totally free to create. You cannot please everyone, but our menu is not only about insects. It also offers local cuisine," he said.

Story continues below…

Faure isn't the only chef in France to combine insects with traditional delicacies.

Last year The Local reported how Sylvain Musquar, a chocolate maker from Nancy in the east of France, believes he has come up with the perfect way to get French people eating crickets and worms.

Musquar’s recipe is fairly simple: A square chocolate made from Almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts and sugar, topped with a sugar coated cricket or a maggot “to make it a little sexier”.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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