Poems of the Week


by Julia Griffin

“In an extraordinary letter, [Marc Veyrat, chef of La Maison des Bois] railed against his demotion [by Michelin Guide inspectors] … . ‘I have been depressed for six months. How dare you take the health of your chefs hostage? … [The inspectors] dared to say that we put cheddar in our soufflé of reblochon, beaufort and tomme! They have insulted our region; my employees were furious. When we have eggs from our chickens, milk from our cows, and two botanists collect our plants every morning!’

Eating at La Maison des Bois … is described on Veyrat’s website as ‘a veritable pastoral and
mineral symphony in which nature’s bounty is displayed in each and every dish.'”
— The Guardian

They dared to say there’s cheddar in our soufflé!
Our soufflé, coaxed from tomme and reblochon
On which, for sheer douceur, the fragrant hoof lay
Of one whose coat I’ve personally shone!

The miserable frauds detected cheddar!
And yet they flaunt themselves as critics still!
They hoped to put my feelings through a shredder:
Are they content that I’m depressed and ill,

And all this region wounded and offended
By imbeciles deserving to be sued?
My restaurant should not have condescended
To offer such a symphony of food,

Such hymns to Nature, bountiful and tuneful—
Like prawns in pine sap, served on bits of shed—
To those more aptly serviced with a spoonful
Of fat-free processed mild Velveeta spread.