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Another star French chef throws in his Michelin stars

One of France's greatest chefs, Olivier Roellinger, is closing his three-star restaurant on grounds of fatigue and personal reasons, the latest of several top cooks to give up on high-pressure establishments.

Roellinger, 53, whose award-winning restaurant is located in the small Brittany port of Cancale in western France, told AFP on Friday that "after 26 years of happiness at the oven it is becoming increasingly difficult by the day to cope with the physical demands."

He is the fourth Michelin three-star chef to throw in the towel in the last few years, starting with former "chef of the century" Joel Robuchon, who gave up his stars in 1996 at the age of 51, saying life in the top lane was too stressful.

He was followed by Alain Senderens in 2005 and Alain Westermann in 2006. The three have since opened new award-winning eateries.

The pressure of keeping up star ratings took a tougher toll on another French chef, Bernard Loiseau, who apparently committed suicide in 2003 after another influential guide, GaultMillau, lowered his restaurant's rating.

Badly beaten up at age 20, Roellinger began cooking during his two-year convalescence and subsequently dropped out of university to become a chef.

A seafood, spices and vegetable connoisseur, he won his third prized star from the Michelin Guide foodie bible in 2006 for his eponymous restaurant, which will close December 15.

"I will transmit and share my cuisine differently, more in line from now on with my deep desire to communicate," he said.

"I will go towards a wider public, and be more available than I could have been by keeping the three stars," added Roellinger, who also runs a bakery, a spice-oriented grocery, a cooking school, B&Bs and a smaller bistrot-restaurant, all in Cancale


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