Sébastien Rath and his wife, Gwladys Rath, owners of the gastronomic restaurant in the city center, are moving this spring to temporarily revive another emblematic restaurant in the Alésien Basin. Before they build their final establishment on the slopes of the Hermitage.
A change has been coming in the lives of Gwladys and Sébastien Rath for several weeks. During Alès Audace’s last evening, the chef from Le Riche and his wife presented their ambitious “Ambö” project: a first-class restaurant, built on enormous stilts on the side of the Hermitage. Just a few meters from the sanctuary of Notre-Dame-des-Mines, the establishment intends to offer its customers a fantastic view of the city of Alès and a working comfort that the couple seems to miss terribly. “Sébastien has always wanted his restaurant in the countryside”says Gwladys Rath. “But he didn’t want to leave Alès. Alès is his home.”
“We feel the need to get out of the city center. For people to come to me, not for a simple dinner, but to live an experience”, adds his spouse. With Ambö, the chef hopes to finally find “maturity”a perfect working environment that would allow him “reaching for the star” from the Michelin guide.
The place, built “in an environmentally responsible way”also provides an outdoor terrace – an element that Le Riche lacks – as well as three lodges with two seats each.
Before the Hermitage, a stopover in Saint-Hilaire
The couple’s goal: to inaugurate Ambö in two years, “for the 2024 holiday season.” The project, which has found its ground, must first be validated by the architect of the buildings in France due to its proximity to the shrine. But before achieving this grail, and after a disagreement with the owner of the Le Riche building (who, according to them, does not want to give them a lease on the site for less than three years), the couple tries an unprecedented move: set up within the walls of the former Saint-Hilaire, a restaurant formerly managed by chef Alain Reymond, located on the old road to Nîmes in Saint-Hilaire-de-Brethmas.
We want to revive this historic building, which will allow us to realize the same ideas that we can do afterwards in the Hermitage.
Meanwhile sold to another restaurateur who went bankrupt, the premises are currently empty of activity. “We want to revive this historic building, which will allow us to realize the same ideas that we can do afterwards in the Hermitage.”
A project also strong on a personal level for the young Alésien, who learned a large part of his trade from the former chef. “During an internship when I was very young, when at that time I was more passionate about motorcycles, Alain Reymond took me on for four days. Those four days marked me. showed what a restaurant was.”
Result: the former mentor even had to get a little back in the kitchen at the time of the opening, planned very soon, for the next Ascension Feria. “We plan to close Le Riche on April 22 and then take a few days off”details about the couple. “And we will open in Saint-Hilaire on May 19.”
An express move that will be followed by the entire Riche brigade, “It’s as much their project as ours”. It remains to be seen how the team will like the emblematic venue before they finally step up to the Hermitage.