Facebook/Marc Veyrat - Maison des Bois
Famed French chef Marc Veyrat recently cooked for world leaders at the climate change talks in Paris last month, but this week he was hit with an enormous fine for damaging the environment by destroying the forest around his restaurant in the Alps.
According to the BBC, Veyrat has twice been awarded three Michelin stars, and he currently operates a very well-regarded restaurant called Maison des Bois in the town of Manigod in the Haute-Savoie region. Veyrat’s restaurant, which is currently being rebuilt after a fire, is situated near beehives, a botanical garden, and greenhouses, but unfortunately Veyrat felled 75,000 square feet of protected forest to build them, and he did not have permission for that. He also reportedly had a hectare of nearby wetlands dried up.
Veyrat has been fined $108,000 and ordered to restore the wetlands around the restaurant.
At the hearing, Veyrat reportedly said that his intentions were good, and that he had cut down the trees to build an educational center for children. He also reportedly apologized and admitted that it had been an error.
“I am not above the law. Anyone can make a mistake, even me,” he said.
As long as the wetlands are restored quickly, Veyrat’s lawyer says his client will be allowed to keep the educational center, botanical gardens, greenhouse, and beehives.