In Puisaye, the association Le Parc has invested in a mobile kitchen, rare in France

In the Taupins resource garden, things get busy in the kitchen. Or rather around a new transportable tool for sharing and creation at the Park (Produce, Eat, Meet, Create), in Tannerre-en-Puisaye. “We have been thinking about a mobile kitchen layout for five years,” says Pauline Daviet, co-founder of the association promoting local food autonomy.

Designed by chef Gilles Narbeburu, the kitchen is retractable. The total investment in the Park is around “€70,000, 80% subsidized by France Relance: €43,000 for the kitchen, plus a vehicle for the tractor, equipment and stainless steel tables”. In 2021, a France Relance call for projects (“Local and solidarity food”) offered investment aid.

“This object is a bit of a UFO!”

“The kitchen, designed to weigh less than 750 kg, can be handled by any vehicle. Folded, it measures 1.50 m by 2.50 m. The big advantage: we are around and all together on the island central”, explains Pauline Daviet. “There, you can go to people, in a public square, among farmers and even more develop curiosity. Casually, this object is a bit of a UFO!” Autonomous in gas, the equipment includes mouth, plancha or even water reserve. “Oven, fridge and hot water if you connect to electricity”, details the Park

The unusual installation whets the appetite and local partnerships, such as the beneficiaries of food parcels from Toucy Entraide and refugees monitored by Viltaïs. Add four professional cooks, four farmers, the CPIE Yonne-Nièvre and Bonjour Cascade.The mobile kitchen brings people together, like this “meat cooking” workshop, on April 29. (picture VT)

On Friday April 29, 2022, a cooking workshop was simmering in Tannerre with the Local Mission of Auxerrois, more precisely young people in reinforced civic service from the Toucycoise antenna, through the device “From the fields to the plate”.

“Egg yolk, oil, mustard.” Ryan launches into the mayonnaise then goes to fry pieces of poultry. Cooking teacher at the Vauban high school in Auxerre, Clément Voisin supervises the small, motivated brigade. Challenge of the day: meat cooking, with, among other things, sautéed lamb (smoked paprika, salt and olive oil) yogurt and mint sauce, and lamb stew with potatoes. “We started from the same piece of meat, a leg, with two different cooking methods in it: long cooking with the slightly tender, fatty and firm pieces, and quick cooking with a more tender part.”Preparation of mayonnaise for Ryan, one of the young people in reinforced civic service integrated into the device “From the fields to the plate”. (picture VT)

In total, eight young people aged 16 to 25 after twelve sessions, including visits to four producers: cereal farmer, meat producer, goat producer, market gardener. “During these farm visits, we bring the mobile kitchen, we cook the products in very short times and we eat together. They see the link between the fields and the plate directly.” Two other cooks, Aurélien Billon and Coralie Joubert, smoke part of the device. Louise, an employee of the Park, also works on the origin of the products.

Young people behind a pop-up restaurant on June 25

The other workshops, more focused on technique, are presented in the resource garden. Vegetables and desserts in next themes. A final step will be to think about a menu, with a view to an ephemeral restaurant organized at the Park on June 25th. “They will invite their families, the exploited farmers, will cook for 50 people, so it’s no joke”, insists the association.The young people of the Local Mission will describe their impressions in writing. (picture VT)

What emerges from the experience is a discovery of tastes, techniques, as well as valued capacities. “Never in life will you put an apron on me”, certified Steven at the start of the project. Today, he is “too proud to peel asparagus, to have spiced up the chicken for the group”, Pauline Daviet relays. “They consume pleasure, the little pride for us.” What about Quentin, 20, from Ouanne? “I like the group spirit, how to know how to eat well, how everything is well cooked. Cooking is a good discovery for me but… I won’t get into that (to smile)!”

Godmother. “A mobile kitchen like that is great,” reacts Camille Labro, culinary journalist at World. “I have a house in the region. A few months ago I met Pauline and Antoine (founders of the Park), who asked me to sponsor this project which I find brilliant. Everyone should learn to cook, to make vegetable gardens. Growing, cultivating and cooking, the world would be better off”, insists the Parisian, who also founded the association L’École edible.

prime Environment Collective garden in Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye: what does this space look like once it started?

Vincent Thomas
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