By Thibaud Delafosse
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The food has fascinated Michel Briens since fifty years. So much time during which he never stopped working behind the stove. His life has always “revolved around food (sic)”.
“Food is something common to everyone, it is part of the history of mankind. There is a magical relationship to food, to the transformation of the product. Vital, it awakens all the senses. The kitchen allowed me to do what I wanted to do. It’s so easy to delight people, to flatter taste with so many things. There is a permanent link with farmers, fishermen, craftsmen and even producers. Behind a plate, there is a multitude of trades and jobss,” says the owner of the Restaurant La Satrouillethat he created from scratch eleven years ago on the Quai Calignyideally placed opposite at the port since Cherbourg-en-Cotentin (Some).
A real break
Although her flame for cooking still burns, at 63it is time for Michel Briens to prepare his retirement.
I need to take a real break. I will continue to cook of course, but I will also read a book, I will listen to music… During confinement, when we were forced to close, it did me a lot of good to have a real break. I no longer knew what it was.
I’physical and mental wear and tear begins to be felt. “Cooking is a profession excitingmore exhausting. Physically, it is very complicated and intensive. Physical fatigue breeds mental fatigue. “About a year ago, the chef made the decision to sell his restaurant. “The ideal would be to be able to pass the torch by the end of the year. All work will be finalized. I am going to improve the terrace in particular this year, ”promises the one who started a cooking school at the age of 16 years.
Simple and refined
The places, large of some 70 meters2are very well maintained. The parquet floor and the wooden furniture, the slightly subdued lighting or the light brown benches offer a comfortable setting to the customers, in a timeless decor. “A restaurant is a bit like a sailboat. You need a crew, with a hull and sails. They have to be settled, so as not to let the affair deteriorate”, image the chef, who for 25 years managed a restaurant in the Hague before landing in Cherbourg.
Inside the Satrouille, like the name octopus in Cherbourg patois, the maritime metaphor has its place. “We cook everything that swims, with simplicity and refinement”, summarizes Michel Briens, who has lived in La Manche for forty years, after leaving the Parisian region to get closer to his parents who are settled in Granville.
An “ideal place”
The captain, as he likes to call himself, manages a team of “five sailors”. “Restaurants are big employers. I have reached out to many people in my career, with many successes to come. It is a pride. As the good captain that he is, Michel Briens will not leave the ship until he has found a successor.
He would like a passionate cook to take over. “When you take a boat, it is better to know how to navigate. The Satrouille constitutes an ideal place for someone who would like to realize themselves in the marine restoration. There is nothing to do there, it is niquel and maintained. The person will simply have to turn on the light,” smiles the restaurateur.
A room with 40 seats
From the room of forty covers from the ideally located restaurant, or from the 18-seat terracethe view of the harbor is breathtaking. The bar license IV is already included, without forgetting the equipped kitchen, the reserve in the basement with a wine cellar, the possibility of accommodation on site or the easy accessibility. All the equipment will be transferred to the next owners.
The successor of Michel Briens will have the choice of whether or not to take over the team of employees, may possibly be trained by the owner of the premises or even keep the name of La Satrouille. Who says better ?!
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