End clap for the restaurant L'alambic in Vichy (Allier) - DALTONHURD

End clap for the restaurant L’alambic in Vichy (Allier)

“Thirty-three years here, not a constraint. It was a pleasure. How lucky to work in a city where we were followed,” explains Jean-Jacques Barbot, smiling. However, a page is turned. Sunday, May 29, the managers serve their last meals to take away. Once again, customers respond.

Clients have become friends

“They have been faithful. Even when there were two years of work on our street or during the covid period, they stayed by our side. It’s the most beautiful thing. Customers have become friends,” continues the chef.

From Allier and its terroir to Paris and Top Chef, the three-star destiny of chef Pascal Barbot

He remembers his best memories such as obtaining a bib gourmand and the Prize for the greats of tomorrow with recognition by high-level critics such as Bernard Loiseau and Philippe Etchebest. “I said to myself what am I doing here among his big boys,” he recalls.

Another distinction for the restaurant, the mentions in the Michelin, Gault & Millau and Champérard guides. A real plus to be known to French and foreign customers, “We wondered how they managed to find us”.

Jean-Jacques Barbot and Marie-Ange Tupet are highly appreciated by their customers. Photo, Dominique Parat.
Another event marked Jean-Jacques Barbot: Taste Week. “We went to the classrooms and the students came to the restaurant. What a pleasure to pass on the education of taste and our know-how to children. Moreover, some of them work in the catering trades. Others have come back as customers”, congratulate the managers, also delighted by their good relations with other Vichy restaurateurs.

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The proof ? A surprise visit from colleagues, late one evening, just before closing time. Only one regret for the couple: not having found a buyer before retiring.

Mickael Chroundiere

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