The beautiful family history of the Relais des Tuileries, hotel-restaurant open since 1968 in Séreilhac

Family memories come flooding back as black and white and sepia photos, taken out of the cupboards a few hours before the interview, cover the large wooden table. “You found some there, slips Arlette Chambraud to her son, Frédéric, and her grandson, Thomas, browsing through the different shots. There is even the generation before! (to smile). And that (she takes another picture)it’s really at the very very beginning…”

The “very very beginning” of Relay of the Tuileries, to “Rameaux 1968” more precisely, remembers Arlette Chambraud. She and her husband Bernard had arrived a few years earlier in Séreilhac to take over, in the village, the Tourist Hotel. Before “moving” therefore, on the edge of the RN21, to open the Relais des Tuileries.

The restaurant as it was when it opened.

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“Clients have followed us from the Tourist Hotel to here. I remember our first day of opening, our first customers, still smiles Arlette Chambraud, 86, when rewriting the history of the Relay of the Tuileries. We opened this very small room – which is now used as an office – with trestles, beams that went from the small door to the main road so that people could jump the ruts and return. »

These were the “good years”, the “big years”, she summarizes. Those of “weddings or communions on Saturday” and “balls on Sunday”.

“What could be more beautiful than keeping the family history alive? »

THOMAS CHAMBRAUD

“The quality of the cuisine is essential. But we have also always paid attention to the welcome, she continues. We are a welcoming profession, people come to have a good time, it is up to us to welcome them, to make them have a good time. And a simple moment. Being close to customers is important. We know the children, the grandchildren. Some know the “Chamberaud house” better than the Relais des Tuileries ultimately (laughs). We have followed these people from generation to generation. And it continued. »

“Continued” with Frédéric, the son, who, after the hotel school in Talence (Gironde) and after having worked for two years in Geneva (Switzerland), returned to the family stronghold. In these same kitchens where he liked to spend time, already as a kid. “I always had my nose in the kitchen, confirms the main interested party. I was in the deep fryer when my head was barely above the basket, then in the ham slicer, then I was hulling the strawberries, preparing the beans, etc. I have huge memories in the kitchen. »

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Always around these local dishes which made the reputation of the establishment, Frédéric Chambraud took over from the Relais, at the end of the 80s. “For example, I developed the pastry side a lot, he recalls. It’s something that I liked, it’s sometimes a little more decorative than the kitchen, there’s this fun side. And then it’s the last dish, I’ve always attached a lot of importance to it. »

The icing on the cake “

“And now, it’s the icing on the cake”, laughs, speaking of dessert, Arlette Chambraud. The formula is all found to evoke the arrival as “chef de cuisine”, since April 1, of Thomas, his grandson, alongside Frédéric. A return to the family for the one who has evolved in recent years in the “galaxy”, as he says, Alain Ducasse (Monaco, Provence, Paris…).

“It’s only pleasure, pride, recognizes the dad. It’s a bit “tic and tack” the two of us (laughs). “We understand each other very well, continues Thomas, we don’t even need to talk to each other sometimes. »

And to recognize: “From the start, the final goal, it is there: to settle, to work, to have fun, to please its customers. I was born here and what could be more beautiful than to perpetuate the family history? “.

And thus grow the photo collection a little more.

Frederic Chambraud (first from right) with his father Bernard (first from left) and his grandfather Léon, also an innkeeper in various establishments.

Questions to Thomas Chambraud…

You have just joined the family restaurant of Relay of the Tuileries. Was this planned in your mind??
“I didn’t have a deadline, I didn’t necessarily have a plan. I said to myself: “I think it is now time to go back a bit”. I wanted to get started, to transmit and retransmit everything I learned, to cook. »

Precisely, what projects await you??
“We can have lots of ideas?; afterwards, there are things that can be done and others that are less so. I think that already, we are going to focus on what we have, highlight it, keep the family business going, move it forward, place it at its true value, bring it back a little in tune with the times , give it more visibility. »

And in terms of cooking??
“We are going to stick with something very local, very terroir, using the products we have here. That’s what I advocate, the local product, respecting the seasons. I learned like that, I continue to work like that. We remain in a certain simplicity but adapted to my background. I have worked in gastronomic and starred houses, I try to find this finesse all in simplicity: working with simple products, highlighting them, using modern techniques…”

Jean-Adrien Truchassou

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