The canteen, which has always been a reflection of our society, has come a long way. Every day, local authorities procure their food supplies from central kitchens that are adapted to meet numerous requirements concerning sustainable produce, traceability and food security, as well as waste and energy footprint reduction, among other challenges. With more than 100 central kitchens in France, Spain and Italy and 105 million meals served per year, Elior boasts the largest central kitchen infrastructure in Europe in terms of production capacity and regional coverage.
"Our teams in the central kitchens prepare tens of thousands of meals every day for the local authorities. The goal of Elior is to create a kitchen of the future with far-reaching commitments, while prioritizing the taste of good produce, human relations and guests’ enjoyment. The inauguration of the Ternay Pépinière du goût is the result of three years working in partnership with Ducasse Conseil, the Paul Bocuse Institute and Bureau Veritas,"
— Pierre Knoché, CEO of Elior France for the Healthcare and Education markets.
The Pépinière du goût central kitchens draw on the expertise of Elior, Ducasse Conseil and the Paul Bocuse Institute and bears the Bureau Veritas quality assurance label for 26 commitments and 52 criteria. The Pépinière du goût is underpinned by a three-fold commitment founded on:
- The taste in the plate: culinary know-how and respect for produce. To provide tasty, well-balanced meals, Elior teams working in the Pépinière du goût central kitchens are trained every year in the culinary techniques of Ducasse Conseil experts and assessed on a set of criteria including cooking techniques, the use of fresh, seasonal produce and recipe compliance. Elior also commits to ensuring the presence of at least one qualified pastry chef in every kitchen. In addition, all chefs are encouraged to be creative: for example, by proposing new recipes that respect the fixed set of criteria, while adding their own personal touch using regional specialities.
- The taste for service: guests occupying a central place. The Pépinière du goût teams are trained in Ducasse Conseil’s serving and meal-presentation techniques to ensure that meal times are pleasurable for children. Elior is participating alongside the Paul Bocuse Institute in collaborative French and European research programs concerning children's' eating habits. More scientific knowledge is acquired by way of experiments carried out by Research-Center postgraduate students and observations made in school canteens. In this way, elements that can be leveraged to enhance the appeal of the food offering and the quality of services are identified and transmitted to Elior teams which help children acquire and progressively expand their culinary repertoire.
- The taste for others: reinforced regional foothold, attention to crop-growing and livestock-breeding conditions. The Pépinière du goût guarantees the use of seasonal produce, with sustainable products representing 25% of the ingredients used in their meals. Elior promotes human relations and proximity, thus providing a solid local foothold that enables it to offer its guests the finest French agricultural produce every day.
The Ternay central kitchen is the Group's first Pépinière du goût. Elior is targeting 11 labeled kitchens by 2020 with a view to harmonizing its practices and extending them to other central kitchens.