Bagnols: Emmanuel Marc, at 89 brooms still in the kitchen of his Aveyronnais restaurant

Emmanuel Marc, stainless and solitary chef of the Aveyronnais restaurant, has become over time an institution in Bagnols. Portrait of a fan of cuisine and almost ninety-year-old independence who continues to feed around fifty tables every day.

His banker great-uncle was murdered in Chantilly by the Bonnot gang in 1933, the year of his birth. In gratitude, the Société Générale offered him a beautiful cellar in Montpellier. “There are two places left, we are in no hurry” loose Emmanuel Marc, known as Manu, the stainless cook of the almost ninety-year-old Aveyronnais restaurant who continues to give food to around fifty tables every day.

A great senior jumper

Cropped skull and thin pepper and salt mustache, suspenders and eternal bougnat red scarf tied around his neck, he has the mouth of the Manu, venerable leader of a rope from a Macronie dreaming of postponing the age of retirement and who could never hope for so much. Working at nearly 89 brooms, even the Japanese hardly venture on these ridge lines swept by arthritis. “In the morning, I take a quarter of an hour to tie my shoes, but I know that I am going towards the light. It keeps me alive”admits this great senior of the sauté pan who, like Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, would suddenly find himself arrested, the frying pan with a hand.

Inventor of the kangaroo bike

Emmanuel Marc’s CV is as multifaceted as a Rubik’s cube. He invented the kangaroo bike, a large scooter without pedals, sponsored by Georges Frêche, chaired a champion billiard club in France in 1970, or represented the Hérault Junior Economic Chamber in Miami. You should not look for the name of a large establishment or the year of promotion of a hotel school. Self-taught, he learned everything as a kid in the skirts of his grandmother.“I am one of the last Mohicans of an endangered civilization” testifies this heir to a home cooking, simple, natural, without fuss or tralala with an inimitable warm accent.

11 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren

The Aveyronnais mitonneur has been stirring on his own since 1972, with the opening of his first restaurant Lou Pascalou in La Roque-sur-Cèze, where he received Eddie Barclay. Unlike the famous producer, inveterate collector of weddings, this patriarch had only two wives: the mother of his five children who gave him 11 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, and his partner Natacha“When I went to see his father, he was 15 years younger than me.” The atypical couple freed from the taboos of political correctness and youthism displays on the counter 48 years of age difference, and 23 years of common existence. Apart from the kitchen, the northerner Natacha runs the Aveyron hut. Without her, he could not carry out this fight against old age in his own way.

Neither clerk nor cane in the kitchen

Since feeding his contemporaries, Manu has returned from the beyond from a very serious car accident in 1975. Body in pieces, morphine in perf’. After three days of coma and five skull fractures, he asked the surgeon to get him back on his feet quickly, “I have a banquet for 70 people on Sunday!”. Last year, it was a basin of boiling water that made him badly burned. The risks of the profession practiced without a clerk or a cane to lean on.

An aligot from behind the bundles

Grateful customers come and kiss him in his lair populated with stuffed cabbage, truffade and other aligot from behind the fagots for which he keeps a good helping hand. He writes his memories as if to retain a world where memory does not alter the taste for the moment or this inevitable disposition to project oneself into the future. “I did what I wanted, how I wanted and I will do it until we see a safe following a hearse!”, concluded this Nova grandpa, a fan of cooking and independence. As if each daily service was a way of existing instead of surviving or dying.

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