Chef Michel announces retirement plans

Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 5:49 PM EST
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CLIFTON FORGE, Va. (WDBJ) - Michel Galand has been a professional cook or a chef all his life.

“This is it!” he said, slapping his stovetop. “This is my piano.”

And the restaurant that bears his name is a well known landmark on Clifton Forge’s busy Main Street, but come December 31, that all comes to an end.

“I’m 74 years old, you know, it’s time,” Galand explained. “I would to enjoy life. You know, when you’re in the restaurant business, there’s no weekend for you. There’s no holiday.”

He’s had a restaurant in the area for decades.

“I’ve got people from Roanoke, Fincastle, Troutville, Lexington, Louisburg, Covington, Hot Springs,” he said, “traveling people, people come back and forth from different states, stop by here just to have dinner, then they move on to the next state.”

And ever since word got out that he was closing, the phone has been ringing with reservations.

“And all the people calling us, they say: We’re so sad you’re leaving us, but we’re so happy for you,” he said.

But it’s time to reluctantly go.

“I love it here,” Galand said. “I’ve got wonderful employees. I can’t ask for any better people working for me. They’re honest, they’re hardworking. I’m very sad about them.”

And then he can at last get a little rest.

“Every night,” he said, “I close the door, I go down the street, and I’m always the last one leaving the town. And I do that for 42 years.”

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