Alencon. Chef Pauline Thomas, from the kitchen of her restaurant to that of a youth center

Pauline Thomas
Pauline Thomas is relishing her new professional career. ©DR

She turned the page. Without regret. Maybe even calmed down.

Pauline Thomas put a cross on his restaurant Gourmetlocated at Place à l’Avoine in Alencon (Orne) and closed following a judicial liquidation, last December. She now cooks for an association in Alençon, in an establishment welcoming young people.

Long works in his street

The young 28-year-old chef, however, is not one to give up. But the “endless” works in the city center and in its street as well as the water damage in August 2020 were right about its dynamism. Not to mention a lack of staff which forced him to combine functions and hours.

In short, at the end of 2021, his restaurant was placed in receivership. Liquidation followed quickly.

This situation is not linked to the health crisis, to the Covid. My customers were loyal during the confinements, the take-out sale worked well.

Pauline Thomas

So, whose fault is it? Or to what?

On the job, mostly! Rue des Grandes poteries has been closed since June of last year. It was supposed to reopen, theoretically in December, but it is still closed. It is very complicated in these conditions to bring in customers. I was losing 50% of my turnover every month. Without any help from the City…

Pauline Thomas

Water damage

Morale took a hit, especially since it had been damaged following the water damage suffered by his restaurant in August 2020, after a violent storm. “It was hard, but I wanted to reopen the restaurant. I wanted to. I did the necessary work and in December, three months later, I was able to welcome customers again”.

Only, it is alone that she has put the cover back.

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During the second confinement, my two employees resigned. They are young and certainly wanted to look elsewhere.

Pauline Thomas

Ensuring the takeaway sale alone is another, ensuring a classic service is another… “I tried to recruit but I had no long-term visibility. »

Housekeeper, dishwasher, handler, cook, switchboard operator and waitress, Pauline is everywhere but ends up losing a little of her health, a lot of her morale.

“I make children happy”

Putting the restaurant into recovery was not easy. It’s an unknown world, after a great adventure of five years. It hurts.

Pauline Thomas

But for all that, she does not totally regret this decision. “I don’t want to reopen a new restaurant, no. It chilled me,” she says, with a smile that rarely leaves her.

Because Pauline is like this, always active and positive. Epicurean…“I wanted to spend more time with my six-year-old son. In January, I found this position within an association and it’s great. »

What becomes of Epicurus?

Pauline Thomas is confident: a new restaurant must reopen in place of Epicure. “The recovery is recorded, but we cannot reveal anything yet. Good news for downtown.

The transition could surprise but the young chef is categorical:

I have an established budget but when you want to cook well, you can always. I make children happy every lunchtime, I introduce them to seasonal vegetables, new cakes, I have developed home-made. And I have fun too.

Pauline Thomas

The dishes are prepared on site every lunchtime “and I organize myself for those in the evening and at the weekend. »

Stress seems to have disappeared from the map. The stoves are irrelevant for Pauline Thomas, only the desire and the pleasure of cooking count. In

good epicurean, she found happiness…

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