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It was during an interview published this Sunday October 22 in La Tribune Sunday that Olivia Grégoire expressed her wish to make changes to French catering. One of the most important is homemade. Made compulsory in 2014, and a real guarantee of quality for many, the words “homemade” appear on the menu and sometimes at the entrance to establishments, and aim to better inform consumers and promote the work of restaurateurs and their expertise. Thus, establishments using real cooks are more easily differentiated from those that do what we could call “assembly”.
What’s new, the minister wants to make it compulsory to indicate dishes that are not homemade on menus. On this subject, Olivia Grégoire declared: “It is impossible in the land of gastronomy not to clearly inform the consumer”. However, she admits the difficulties facing the government: “We have been working on it for several months. We had to act. Because the mention – optional – on the cards of ‘homemade‘, a label created in 2014, is complicated and therefore remains little used.”
Many French chefs including Stéphane Manigold and Philippe Etchebest welcomed this speech. The latter thus confided on point : “We launched this idea with Stéphane during the last Agricultural Show. We discussed it with President Emmanuel Macron, then with Olivia Grégoire and Bruno Le Maire. We are delighted to have been heard, especially since the Umih [Union des métiers et des industries de l’hôtellerie, NDLR] validated it. We must show unity, come together to defend our profession and our know-how.”
But the chef would also like another aspect to be addressed, that of supervising restaurant openings, with an essential need for upstream training. ” Today, anyone can open one, with two and a half days of training, which doesn’t even touch the kitchen. It’s just compatibility, management and legal supervisionnotes the chef. It’s no small thing to run a restaurant and manage the merchandise. You can kill people by doing your job badly. So there are things to do about that as well.” An observation echoing the recent tragedy in Bordeaux after botulinum toxin poisoning in a restaurant.