He may be one of the world’s top chefs, but Marco Pierre White has been forced to eat humble pie after people living in one corner of Sussex decided to shun his fancy food.

The TV cook has left The Rainbow Inn, a restaurant in Cooksbridge, near Lewes, after becoming the victim of a foodie backlash.

Diners, the owners told The Argus, were more interested in feasting on traditional pub fare rather than White’s classic of poussin à la chipolatas, pomme fondant and rosemary roasting juices.

The celebrity chef, who owns other pubs in Sussex including The Chequers Inn in Maresfield, left the fine-dining restaurant about two weeks ago, and it has already returned to its previous incarnation as a gastro-pub. His departure was amicable. 

A “cosy bar”, which was torn out on White’s arrival, will be reinstated and the pub will be officially relaunched in the New Year.

A spokesman from the pub said that The Rainbow Inn was better suited as a gastro-pub. He confirmed that there were no hard feelings and White was still a friend.

He said: “Marco has taken his business interests elsewhere. He was a partner in the business but is a partner in the business no longer.

“[We are] turning it back into a country pub with a restaurant. We are still going to have food. We will be very much a gastro-pub like before.

“We will have a cosy bar area as people really liked the bar area.”

He admitted taking out the “quality bar area” had been a mistake. He added: “The area did not suit a metropolitan, fine-dining restaurant so we are turning it into the country pub our customers want, with English pub food.”

White had not responded to The Argus’ requests for a comment at the time of going to press.