SCHOOL CANTEENS’ CATERING AND A RECIPE BY SARI, THE STARRED BIO CHEF

by Paolo Sari MONACO. Paolo Sari, the only bio starred chef in the world, had announced in his first reportage a talk about Monaco schools’ catering. Moreover,  he is also offering us his 4th totally organic recipe for our followers’ delight. Monaco likes to talk about its ecological solutions, the many innovations in sustainable farming, urban agricultural solutions, vegetarian restaurants, and restaurants that are beginning to enrich the dishes of the menu with “organic” appellations. But, what about the schools’ canteens, which food has to be the social base of restoration? At a meeting in the Directorate of National Education in Monaco in 2015, at the presence of the chairman of Elior, the catering company supplying meals for the canteens in Monaco, Sari asked why Monaco’s canteens are not serving organic meals. Well, the usual answer has been the following: ”We already use 15% of organic products; moreover, the pupils’ parents do not want to pay a surplus for an additional use of biological products.” 

This reasoning is made on a small percentage, not on the health and education of the students. The transition to organic food requires a global approach. It is not a simply way of substitution. If we really want to safeguard the health of future generations, we must radically change our practices and the mentality of the actors involved. Raw materials account for only a quarter of the national expense. The attitude of Monaco is not too far from that of France, as only 5% of schools offer more than 15% organic products in the menus. However, several municipalities in France have decided to introduce new criteria for sustainable development and health. A large majority of French would favour the introduction of organic, local and seasonal foods in public catering. According to an IFOP poll for the association “Agir pour l’environnement” (Act for environment), 76% were in favour of “…a law imposing the introduction of food from organic, local and seasonal foods in collective catering Public schools, hospitals, nursing homes…”.

 

Now, it is quite amazing that 100% organic, ecological, and almost waste-free canteens are working, just 55 km away from Monaco, in Mouans-Sartoux, famous for its Honey Festival. In the canteens of this town the meals have increased from 20% organic in 2008 (with 1.90€ cost per meal), to 100% organic in 2012 (1.86€ per meal). The average cost of participation for families is 3.13€, a very small increase compared to the fact that the students of Mouans-Sartoux eat 100% organic all year long! By now, just the waste reduction represents a gain of 20 cents of euro per tray. With 150,000 meals served each year, the annual saving of 30,000€ helped the launch of the all-organic. The school canteen generates 80% less waste than in 2010 compared to the French average, Monaco included, which is 150 grams vs./ 30 grams in Mouans-Sartoux. Moreover important is the method, as for the menus are established weekly according to the maturity of the vegetables, local and seasonal; the impact on children is empowered, as they choose the size of the portions and can re-help themselves at will; and to limit the waste, oranges and apples are set in quarters. In 2008, Mouans -Sartoux canteens’ catering started to balance food following the framework of the National Nutrition Health Plan: more fruits, more vegetables, less salt, less fat.

Then, they went further, acknowledging the value of 100% organic food for the health of the children and the environment. Beyond organic, the local supply limits the logistic transport, for a better climate and for the development of the territory. At the heart of the project is key players and children’ s awareness of food and environment’s qualities. Thanks to this virtuous plan, 66% of families say they have positively changed their personal practices at home: more organic, more local products, more vegetables, less salt, less fat. In fact, the Mouans-Sartoux test shows the way forward: global thinking (economic, sanitary, agricultural, educational), concerted local action (childhood, education, green spaces, agriculture, social action), gradual evolution of mentalities, children’s and families’ education and awareness. Mouans-Sartoux is not an isolated case: dozens of communities have already moved in favour of the organic, local, and healthy catering. As for Monaco, by now the Elior’s menus for the primary schools of St. Charles are far from being organic, they do not stimulate the appetite and they contain a lot of animal fat. They excuse themselves saying, “Organic bread is served at all meals”. Like saying that Monaco is last in line…

PAOLO SARI’ S RECIPE OF GNOCCHI 

Gnocchi made  of organic spring potatoes and fresh vegetables

Preparation: 90 minutes – For 4 people

For the vegetables dressing: 8 mini-carrots, 4 mini-marrows, 8 mini-radish multicolour, 20 Peeled fava beans, 8 pieces of violet cauliflower and 8 pieces of mini Roman cabbage, 8 mini-asparagus, 8 dried flowers, 4 leafs of borage, 4 leaves of verbena, 8 leaves of basil. Two spoons of extra virgin olive oil – Salt and pepper to season.

For the gnocchi: 600 gr potatoes, 200gr flour, 2 egg yolks, salt and pepper to season, 1 pinch of nutmeg.

For the sauce: 100gr butter, one pinch of finely chopped chives.

Process: Wash the potatoes and boil them in a pan with salted water for one hour. Rinse, peel and crush the hot potatoes putting them in a bowl with the yolks, salt and pepper to season, one pinch of nutmeg and the flour. Stir the preparation until soft. Flat the preparation over your worktable, cut to form pieces of gnocchi 2 for 3 centimetres each, dent and rifle them delicately with the help of a fork. Boil the gnocchi in a pan full of salted water for 3 minutes. Melt the butter in a large pan with the chopped chives and some of the gnocchi’s’ boiled water until obtain a soft sauce. Drain the gnocchi, put them in the pan and melt them delicately in the warm sauce. Wash the vegetables, grad the smaller ones and cut into smaller pieces. Blanch all the vegetables in boiling water for one minute. Put the vegetables in a frying pan with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper for one minute. Set the plate placing the gnocchi in the middle, garnish with the vegetables and finish with the herbs and flowers, as in the image below.

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