In 1935 Mr and Mrs FOREST décided to buy a house just opposite the famous round city-hall of AMBERT and became « innkeepers » as they used to say...
Their daughter Marie and her husband Joseph CHELLE stepped into their parents footsteps and enlarged the family business which was called « HOTEL DE LA POSTE ».
Already , the people came from afar to taste Marie and Joseph' specialities , the famous tripes as well as the escargots.
In I964 their son Jeannot and his wife Nicole in their turn enlarged the hotel and named it « Les Copains » after the film which was shot here by Yves Robert.
The fourth generation was arriving : Thierry, Jeannot and Nicole' eldest son , entered the Hotel School in CHAMALIERES (near Clermont-Ferrand).After his final exams he moved to PARIS and worked here for several months in « LIDO », international cabaret in Champs Elysées. But he aimed higher and applied for the « Ecole Supérieure de cuisine » in PARIS.After two years he graduated and did 2 trainee ships , training of 6 months each: Restaurant « FAUGERON »,an excellent maison , and further with the great Head chef JOEL ROBUCHON.
Back in AMBERT he replaced his grand-mother behind the kitchen-range , his father did the bar keeping and his mother Nicole managed the restaurant.
His youngest brother Sylvain attended the Hotel School of VERRIERE-EN-FOREZ , then completed his professional education by a wine waiter’s training in SAINT-CHELY D’APCHER after which he returned to be the manager of the restaurant « LES COPAINS ».
Humanity progresses and technology should follow : in 1996 « LES COPAINS » was enlarged and improverd once more !
The kitchen was transformed into an ultra-modern laboratory , the restaurant room became spacious , bright and comfortable. Next to it there is now a function room that can be transformed into a conference room. The bar has been renovated . The ten rooms are all classified « GrandConfort »(most comfortable).
This , in short , is the family FOREST-CHELLE history. Four generations of innkeepers and Chefs in Ambert.
Being born in Ambert myself , I am very flattered to have the honour to be confided to write the preface of this golden book which I foresee to be luxurious.
However , if you come back here , certainly don't forget some of Thierry’s specialities such as his frog’s legs wrapped in puff-pastry his 7-hours-leg of lamb or his « Omble Chevalier » (a kind of salmon) in all simplicity as it should be , and even the dessert , the autumn dish or the parfait glacé with its raspberry coulis and many other lovely dishes. All these good things are served to you with the kindness and know-how of Sylvain , you will be welcomed by Nicole’s smile and Jeannot’s hospitality.