Renowned chefs dished out 3,400 meals to flood victims in the Saint-Martin-Vésubie and Roquebillière regions. 34 esteemed chefs from the region created the meals which were then distributed by volunteers during a heartwarming day of eating and sharing last Friday in the wake of tragic events.
It all started with a simple phone call between Mauro Colagreco, three-star chef at Mirazur in Menton, voted best restaurant in the world in 2019, and Christophe Bacquié, chef of the three-star Hôtel du Castellet. The two great chefs then called Philippe Joannès, director of culinary events for the SBM and Meilleur Ouvrier de France, to orchestrate the logistics of delivering the meals. A few phone calls and messages later and thirty-four chefs took to their kitchens with ingredients which were donated by local producers and suppliers for the disaster victims.
A convoy made up of fire engines, a lorry and three small trucks left the Palais Nikaïa in Nice on Friday at 7 am and spent four tricky hours on the road. Packed to the brim with 3,400 three-course meals, made up of starters, mains, desserts and fresh bread, the convoy arrived just in time for lunch. On site, Philippe Joannès and a chain of volunteers distributed the meals in trays and individual baskets.
The idea was for everyone to leave with a meal that they could eat on Friday or over weekend. To adapt to all situations, the chefs planned to make meals that could be eaten hot or cold and could be reheated.
Philippe Joannès explained to local press that although he is not from the Vésubie region, most of the chefs in Monaco have relatives and family in the area. Richard Ribbini from Sporting has, for example, his whole family in Tende. Franck Lafon, from the Café de Paris, also has strong ties to the valleys.