“Gastronomy is the art of using food to create happiness” Theodore Zeldin.
Never has that saying felt truer than when Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer Chefs joined forces with charity organisation Solidarpol to bring a little happiness to those in need with charity lunches at the Fourneau Économique in Nice.
On 6, 8, 10 and 12 April, 12 of the Group’s chefs were joined by staff volunteers to prepare takeaway lunches for people in need at the Fourneau Économique in Nice.
Each team of three chefs created their own menu, including a starter, main course and dessert made from healthy, locally-sourced ingredients.
From Casino de Monte-Carlo chef Thierry Saez Manzanares, and Café de Paris Monte-Carlo chef and pastry chef Franck Lafon and Cyril Natta, for example, we saw a tomato and mozzarella salad with tapenade and basil, pan-fried salmon and citrus quinoa, and a vanilla and red berry choux bun dessert.
To help the chefs out, 14 Group employees volunteered to get involved! Their mission? To join the chef trios in their kitchens to help prepare food the evening before each lunch was served. To them, it was a chance to give something back: “I am thrilled to have been able to get involved with a charity initiative during these difficult times and help people in need, and I hope I get the chance to do it again.” – Audrey Isoart, Group employee and volunteer.
This charitable initiative was an extension of a programme of activities set up in support of Monegasque medical professionals during the COVID-19 health crisis. The Group has also been working with associations such as the Guardian Angels of Monaco, MIR and Restos du Coeur on similar projects for several years.
If you'd like to see the full menus, just click here.
Day 1, Tuesday 6 April
Franck Lafon, Thierry Saez Manzanares, Cyril Natta
Day 2, Thursday 8 April
Jean Philippe Borro, Richard Rubbini, Nicolas Baygouri
Day 3, Saturday 10 April
Marcel Ravin, Bertrand Duby, Felix Messika
Day 4, Monday 12 April
Patrick Laine, Jean Laurent Basile, Cédric Campanella
At the start of April, the teams gathered at the Fourneau Économique in Nice to bring lunches to those in need that were anything but ordinary…
Owing to the health crisis, this year looked slightly different to the charity’s usual event. There was no service or on-site dining – instead, lunch bags were handed out. In spite of the masks, there was plenty of “smiling with the eyes”!
The chefs gave all sorts of reasons for wanting to volunteer their time, including bonding with others, brightening disadvantaged individuals’ days, treating them to some good food, and bringing them a little comfort during the crisis.
“That's what being a cook has always been about for me...giving to those who have, and to those who don’t. Cooking is an act of love... We wanted to build a SBM Resort project out of that. Out of standing strong together. It fits perfectly with our #strongtogether motto from the first lockdown”. Chef Marcel Ravin, Executive Chef at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort.
“We’ve been working in the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo and Sporting Monte-Carlo kitchens to bring a little happiness to people who don't have that much to eat.” Jean-Philippe Borro, Executive Chef at the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo.
This was the first activity of its kind in the Group’s history, with 12 of the Resort’s chefs taking turns over four days to get lunches out the door.
“We wanted everyone involved – not just chefs, but pastry chefs too”, says Philippe Joannes, the Director of Culinary Events at Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer. “The health crisis did take a little of the fun out of it on the day, since it’s the cooking that makes these events special for people and that all had to be done off-site. That's why we chose to put one chef on every course.”
The initiative was originally set up by the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort and chef Marcel Ravin in 2016. It has since had a wonderful snowball effect, with all of the Resort’s chefs getting involved with 2021’s week of charity lunches.
According to Solidarpole’s president, Fabio Vitale, it warmed the hearts of those most in need:
“Cooking for someone is a selfless act in itself, but giving people a moment of escape – even if only for the length of a meal – and taking them away from their day-to-day struggles...that is a real gift that only talented chefs like the ones involved over the course of this week would be able to give.
That is why, on behalf of both Solidarpole and the Fourneau Économique, I would like to say a big thank you to Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer, the 12 chefs, and every member of staff who contributed, directly or indirectly, to making this event so unique, and showed the true extent of the group's commitment and social responsibility.”
We're already hoping to be back for a second helping next year…
The chefs involved:
Thierry Saez Manzanares – Chef at the Casino de Monte-Carlo, Franck Lafon – Chef at the Café de Paris Monte-Carlo, Cyril Natta – Pastry Chef at the Café de Paris Monte-Carlo, Jean-Philippe Borro – Chef at the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, Richard Rubbini – Chef at Sporting Monte-Carlo, Nicolas Baygouri – Pastry Chef at the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, Marcel Ravin – Chef at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort, Bertrand Duby – Chef at Mada One, Felix Messika – Chef at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort, Patrick Laine – Chef at the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, Jean Laurent Basile – Chef at Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo, Philippe Joannes – Chef and Chief Coordinator, and Cédric Campanella and Thomas Subrin – Chefs at One Monte-Carlo.