Chefs in schools to give children a sense of taste, in Draguignan

Who had the idea to call it “The week of taste”? This Monday, it was rather … “The day of the kilos”, or “the day of the calories”.

But the right calories.

Those that make you swoon with pleasure and awaken the taste buds. Those that excite our senses. Those who feast.

The chefs’ day, set up as part of the Semaine du gout, was a great moment of conviviality, sharing, emotion, friendship, culture and knowledge.

Of know-how, also, as mentioned by Richard Strambio, mayor of Draguignan, when he received the twenty-four chefs mobilized voluntarily for this operation, at the Cordeliers room, for a (hearty) breakfast of Welcome.

“Taste is fundamental, he said. Without it, our society would be missing something. Gastronomy is part of our culture, of our heritage. It is essential for the education of our children, which is the basis of everything. We also need to get out of “junk food”. We have to pass that knowledge on to them. “

Obviously, the mayor, who had a thought for Philippe Da Silva, the star chef of the hostellerie des Gorges de Pennafort, who died last April, preached twenty-four convinced and even twenty-five with the godfather of that day, Guy Gedda.

The chefs who voluntarily agreed to participate in this day were received and thanked in town hall by the mayor, Richard Strambio. Photo Sophie Louvet.

The “Pope of Provençal cuisine”, as he is called in the gastronomic world, has received a distinction from the City.

A few minutes after the handover, Guy Gedda, 88, humbly confided:

“I received a lot of trophies and medals, but I find this gift from the City of Draguignan the prettiest of all.”

At 10 am, the chefs scattered around twelve schools in the town for workshops, before meeting at noon at the Léon-Blum regional high school, where the students had cooked and prepared lunch!

And that’s where we talk about pounds, calories … But it was for a good cause!

“I cook for my family”

Guy Gedda received the medal from the City of Draguignan. Photo Sophie Louvet.

It is to Provençal cuisine what Marcel Pagnol is to literature and cinema. That is to say.

At 88 years old, Guy Gedda has remained the same: an enthusiast.

“I cook for my family, he explains. I have no merit. My parents and grandparents instilled it in me. I started small, I don’t know how old I was, I just remember peeling the vegetables! Everything I learned I learned from my elders. “

Author of numerous books on Provençal cuisine, Guy Gedda, now based in Bormes-les-Mimosas. He founded La Tonnelle there, on the square. His daughter, the fourth generation of restaurateurs, runs a restaurant there in the old village.

Guy Gedda talks about his two grandmothers:

“Célestine Carlin, was from Nice and my other grandmother from Aix-en-Provence. I am chauvinistic of the two regions, of Provençal cuisine and of Nice cuisine!”

Guy Gedda also quotes Marie Mauron, “A great literary, who defended Provence and did not like that we transform the names of the dishes, that we say“ eggplant caviar ”instead of“ aubergines à la gitane ”.”

But Guy Gedda’s biggest fight is education:

“We have to go back to the school certificate at 14 and stop compulsory school until the age of 16. There are lots of children who don’t like school. This is no longer possible. The government must set up an apprenticeship system and finance it. Today, there is no longer a waiter, a cook … “

The CM1s in Sabine Tumminelli’s class were given a course on taste and flavors. Photo Sophie Louvet.

“Thyme, like on sausages!”

It is 10:15 a.m.

The bell indicates the end of recess. The pupils of the Frédéric-Mistral school are asked to return to their classes, and a very special lesson awaits them.

A lesson in taste. Jacques Rolancy, Meilleur Ouvrier de France cuisine (1996) and Louis Rameau, from the “Château de Berne”, in Lorgues, face twenty-one small white hats from Sabine Tumminelli’s CP class.

The objective is to make the youngest aware of tastes. For this, various workshops are offered (detection of flavors, olfaction of aromatic herbs, tastings, etc.).

Nose exercise: “That’s garlic!” Leana says. “Oh no, it’s cinnamon”, Louis Rameau retorts.

Noë : “This is thyme. I know because my godfather made me sausages and he put it on!”

The students lend themselves to the game. And in the survey carried out on the fly, fourteen of them claim to want to become a cook.

“I’m not sure I get fourteen”, launches Louis Rameau.

Only one of them wants to become a journalist. Perhaps he will become a food critic?

A menu of chefs

A student in the CM1 class in Sabine Tuminelli’s class. Photo Sophie Louvet.

At lunchtime, the “officials” met at the Léon-Blum regional high school for the chefs’ meal, prepared by the twelve students of the CAP and pro cuisine bac sections, directed by Ludovic Corbineau.

The latter followed to the letter the advice of the elders, including those of the best worker in France in the kitchen, Luc Gamel (that cannot be invented).

The meal took place in the presence of the mayor and the principal Sandrine Petit, in the educational restaurant of the establishment. Twelve other students were also in the room to provide the service.

The menu

-Aperitif bites (by Davy Jobard, Le Nid, Flayosc).
-Salmon in gravelax (Luc Gamel).
-Ravioles of foie gras (Anthony Saliege, Les Gorges de Pennafort, Callas).
-Hare à la royale (Julien Lepine, Le clos Pierrepont, Montferrat).
-Rich of my Maures massif (Guillaume Girard, Pâtisserie Girard, Draguignan).

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