It’s an unforgettable trio of Kitchen nightmare. Severine, Melanie and Mylene are sisters, (twins for the last two). Endowed with three completely different temperaments, they had given a hard time to Philippe Etchebest, moved to Sénas (Bouches-du-Rhône) for the occasion. The famous chef of M6 then had a mission of a social order above all: patch up this siblings who no longer got along in order to improve the dynamics of the restaurant. Two years have passed since the end of filming. Mélanie, the cook, tells us about her in this interview.
Tele-Loisirs.fr : How is your restaurant doing?
Melanie: Two years later, we are still open, with a lot of passages. There are still jealous people who leave us bad reviews on Google or TripAdvisor, saying that it’s inedible, disgusting, and that we should be ashamed of having done Kitchen nightmarewhen they never came to eat there…
How do you explain it, despite your good ratings on specialized sites?
Well among them, there are comments that we could do without! We are even criticized on our physique. These are fake accounts. We notice it by clicking on the profile, often there is only one subscriber… But we got used to it. I know what I’m doing, all the good will that I put into it… We only have fresh products. I have nothing to reproach myself for, even if I admit to you that we had not anticipated all these negative remarks by participating in the show. But since we are often rebroadcast (three times in two years: in February and October 2021, then in April 2022, editor’s note), this re-rolls the attacks on each broadcast. And yet, we didn’t do it for the glory. The boss knows it. We had asked not to be broadcast. We didn’t want to create a buzz, just save our restaurant and improve our relationship with my sisters.
What have you read about yourself?
We were attacked directly on our physique, we were told that we could jump from the top of a bridge, do cosmetic surgery… It was very, very far. Of course, we lodged a complaint with the police. But we knew it would be dismissed and it is. Now, we live with it, it no longer affects us.
If necessary, do you have psychological support?
Yes, before, during and after the show. The shrink called us to find out if we had experienced the broadcast well, with all the comments we were receiving. Personally, I said to him: ‘it’s like that‘. We get criticized, but she can’t do anything about it…
Today do you still maintain links with Philippe Etchebest or the production of the show?
Not at all, not even the chef. He never came back. Besides, people always ask me the question! We asked him to come see us, but we still don’t have an answer.
What impact has your participation in Cauchemar en cuisine had on your restaurant?
I’ll be honest with you, as I am with all of my clients, the only thing we’ve changed in our house is that we put on an apron and a jacket. Otherwise, nothing has changed in the kitchen. There are customers who manage to say that it is better than before because the chef has passed. But we haven’t changed anything! Like what, it is above all psychological!
And on your turnover?
We had some difficult times with the lockdowns. We haven’t been able to adapt like other restaurateurs have been able to do with take-out. So we lost a lot. Then with the reopening in the summer of 2020, we worked very well. On the other hand, I would like to point out that we have not doubled our turnover, as mentioned at the end of the episode. We just worked much better that summer, increasing our revenue by 30%. In fact, with each speech of the President, we felt the decrease, then a small increase. It had become a cycle… But there, currently, all is well.
What are your relations today with your twin Mylène and your eldest Séverine?
Today is better. The show has helped us a lot. There are exchanges that we don’t see on the air, but when the chef spoke to all 3 of us, on the show, it lasted ten minutes when in reality it was for two hours. We had received a message from our mom asking us to stop tearing ourselves apart. Inevitably, these are striking words that shock us, that we keep in mind and that push us to change.
How do you envision the future of your restaurant?
For now, everything is okay. The season started very well in April-May. Currently, we have dropped a little, but that’s normal, now that we can travel freely again. I understand people! We are desperate to recruit but the people who come forward are between 20 and 25 years old and tell us “we want 2300 euros and do 25 or 30 hours”, I answer them that they are crazy (laughs). And then when we tell them that we ourselves do not receive this sum, we have the right to “it’s not our problem”. But we manage to get out of it this way and I hope that this will continue for a long time.