Sète: the central kitchen Toques & Sens Occitanie, an essential part of everyday life

The central kitchen, located in the White Waters area, provides 3,700 meals per day.

“For some children, it is often the only balanced meal during the day,” says Stéphanie Cadenat, director of Toques & Sens Occitanie, the central kitchen in Sète. Located in the Eaux Blanches area, the structure, which has been in existence since October 2018, produces 3,700 meals a day. Daily production concentrated in Sète and Frontignan at 70%. Of this percentage, 75% are meals intended for school children (kindergartens, kindergartens, primary schools, colleges and secondary schools). The remainder concerns CCAS and home delivery for seniors. Note that the rest of what is cooked by Toques & Sens Occitanie (30% of the total production) is sent to a few towns in Hérault du Gard and Aude (1).

To avoid external contamination:

About twenty employees are employed to ensure the production of this structure, which “operates in equity and is owned by the company Sodexo”. It is under the direction of the director, accompanied by Sylvain Coulange, regional director France Sud of Sodexo, that the visit of the establishment begins. Mandatory passage through the sanitary lock before entering the various production units. So it is Charlotte on the head, mask on the face, disposable paper tunic and protective slippers, “to avoid any external contamination”, as the director reminds us, that the small group enters the kitchen itself.

Law and Recommendations

The central kitchen follows the recommendations of the GEMRCN, a study group preparing a practical guide to the nutritional quality of the meals produced by the collective structures. As for the renewal of the contract with the city of Sète, the central kitchen is ready to apply the provisions of the Egalim Law. A text that requires public collective catering to offer at least 50% sustainable products and at least 20% organic products. The law also provides for “just compensation to producers”. “We already use 40% local products,” says director Stéphanie Cadenat.

“In addition to the five executives, including management, we work with a close-knit team of professionals. We have a cook in production. Another in the kitchen who is also a pastry chef. Furthermore, there are four drivers and an allotisseur who take care of the delivery and distribution of meals, according to the customer’s orders,” specifies the manager, introducing those who work in the different workplaces. The latter adds: “Nine people are responsible for production. They are professional chefs. They can be divided into two specialties. There are people who work on the catering itself and others who are responsible for the packaging.”

Turkey with mustard

It is bustling with activity in the middle of the morning. On the one hand, a team is busy cutting cabbage and caring for fresh and already cut carrots. They are meant to be integrated into a ground turkey with mustard. On the other hand, we make pies, bake apples. At the end of the chain, the plates are placed in trays. The carrier does not have to deliver them until they have cooled down.

Indeed, as Sylvain Coulange points out: “The deliveries are made in a cold connection (between 0°C and 3°C max)”. “It is important for food safety. The dishes are cooled after cooking, in a designated area. The goal is to lower the temperature quickly enough so that germs do not have a chance to multiply. For us, food safety is paramount. also regularly subjected to a whole series of bacteriological tests”.

Another requirement, “provide the guests (the recipients of the meals, editor’s note) with balanced menus,” explains the latter. “We are the employer in France with the largest number of dieticians. Teams who create the menus according to the specifications of the weights and feeding frequencies recommended by the GEMRCN (see box)”. “Our challenge is to please our guests, regardless of age, by scrupulously respecting food and nutritional balance,” confirms Stéphanie Cadenat, who says she is proud of her teams and her work.

(1) Montferrier (34), Bouillargues (30) and Conques-sur-Orbiel (11).

Leave a Comment