Welsh restaurant gives up Michelin star for some family time
A tiny restaurant in Wales is giving up its coveted Michelin star for more quality family time.
The Checkers in the town of Montgomery decided to relaunch operations under the name Checkers Pantry in mid-November and stay open during the day only.
It informed the guide that it was making the changes and would no longer be qualified to compete for the award earlier this month.
“The move is not about the pressure of being in the guide,” co-owner Kathryn Francis told AFP.
“But pressure does comes from juggling families with work and running a business – a familiar tale for so many working families.”
Michelin stars are the gold standard of the restaurant business and the crowning achievement of any chef.
The Checkers kitchen offers complex and visually striking dishes such as a “weetcorn veloute, thyme cream & popcorn” starter.
The stars also demand a level of dedication and commitment from owners that often take a bruising psychological and physical toll.
The French restaurants Le Suquet made headlines when it gave up its three stars and withdrew from consideration last year.
The Checkers is doing the same after a seven-year run.
Co-owner Stephane Borie – a Frenchman who is also one of the chefs – intends to take on private clients and “freelance.”
Kathryn’s sister Sarah will run the stove until evenings. Then it will be time for kids. “Our business benefited greatly from having [a Michelin star] – it raised our profile and directed guests to us,” said Kathryn Francis.
“But late nights take their toll; we have five kids between our two families and it was time for a change, to make our business a little friendlier for us and our families.”