The History of the restaurant from the beginning

The life of Ernest Cirio, called "TETOU" and " The King of Bouillabaisse"

In 1902, at the age of twenty, he embarked for five years in the Navy, then became a private cook for the Admiral, and in three years did a world tour. They proposed him to open a restaurant in New York, but my grandfather said “I live in the most beautiful region of the world, I'm not going to look for gold in your land, and my home is under my feet”.

L' Histoire Tetou

Coming home, he began to fish again whilst grandmother was still harvesting orange blossoms. In winter, grandfather had less work and fewer tourists in the hotels; he was making cane baskets for the oranges, tangerines and lemons.

Coming back from the war in the end of 1918, he proposed to grandmother a beach granted by the city hall of Golf Juan. He built a wooden shed with a roof built of reeds. They cooked in an old stove with charcoal, directly on the beach by using Polish coal. He said that it was the strongest heat because for Bouillabaisse, it was necessary to heat it very fast as it needed a lot of heat.

During the night, the clients were waiting for grandfather to come back from fishing.

From 1920 until 1939, the restaurant was well known by extraordinary clienteles with high status at that time and rich families. One day, as my grandfather caught a lobster which weighed around two kilos, a Rolls Royce with a driver stopped by, the driver asked my grandfather “what is the price of the lobster?". Grandfather responded, “listen young man, go and tell your boss that he doesn't have enough money to pay me.” It was the Baron de Rothschild. That was my grandfather.After that, these men never left his side. They became very good friends. They had some very unforgettable evenings.

Grandfather always thought of these words,”The civilized countries, we see in their plates. Make no publicity, have patience, because everything is in the plate and in the warm welcoming family.” The customer doesn't demand more. Everything that you get above is useless.

Words of Jacky Gay, grandson of Tétou, May 2004.