Jérôme Rigal took over the restaurant in 2000, later joined by his sister Sandrine.
It’s a bit like at home, the jokes burst out into great bursts of laughter. There, this time, the customers (loyal) did not fail to note that the rooster next to the establishment was somewhat out of order to sing at the stroke of 3 p.m.! The discussion ended outside, well sprinkled with water as it should be. Here, people don’t just come for what they find on the plate. Even if the praise is not lacking.
In a much more distant time, the Rignacois stopped at a place called Le Racanel to fill up with gas. Jérôme Rigal’s grandparents were thus installed on this D997, between what was to be the Montplaisir roundabout (the first one arriving from Villefranche-de-Rouergue used to serve the deviation) and the entrance to the town. The parents, Louis (better known as Zouzou) and Marie-Reine, took over until the latter went behind the stove, just to pass the time. “My mother was bored with the gas stationexplains Jerome. So they opened the restaurant in 1992, so I grew up surrounded by pots and pans.”
“I wanted to travel before…”
Without much surprise, he went to a hotel school, in Millau then in Souillac, in the Lot. “ I then had lots of ideas for working, especially abroad because I wanted to travel. And, in this environment, it is rather easy to find. ” His professional experience will be summed up in a few stages and summer jobs. “ My mother fell ill in 1999. At the end of the army, a 1st April 2000 and at 22, I took up the torch. With this small regret of not having been elsewhere, like many of my comrades. ” Six years later, the family has “expanded” with the arrival of Sandrine, her sister, in the service. “And, today, we are four full-time and two part-time. With the difficulties of the profession, since the health crisis, in terms of recruitment. Suddenly, I stopped bothering myself and I ‘ve changed organization: only midday on weekdays and for groups on weekends by reservation.”
Corten steel like the Soulages museum
Customers who swallow miles to come and taste the estofinade, he, the master estofinaïre since 2017. The recipe? “ It is identical to all those who have it à la carte. Afterwards, some prefer walnut oil to duck fat, or bacon like me… ” We will not know more, just to make your mouth water. Otherwise, for the rest, and lunch in particular, it’s a single menu “ with a maximum of local products and most often homemade, such as pastries, even if the weather does not allow us to make everything ; and on weekends, besides the estofinade, the veal from Aveyron is a safe bet for me and for the customers, of course “.
The traditional table is not the only one chosen that stands out from the Racanel. Passing in front of the restaurateur the first time (and more if you like), it is difficult not to see it. It looks like two drops of water at the… Soulages museum, in Rodez. “In 2016, I wanted a more modern image for the establishment and I therefore carried out work on the interior, but also on the facades. For personal taste and it was in tune with the times, I opted for corten steel. People still point this out to me…”
Jérôme and Sandrine Rigal will blow out the 30 candles of the restaurant on September 3, from 12 p.m.…