A ‘FIRST RATE’ EUROPEAN BUFFET
Another of the vital pillars of Christmas in Europe is the European buffet, to which all the participating schools bring along culinary specialities that are just as tasty as they are varied. This also means that the various schools have to plan and carry with them the ingredients which they then prepare in the host school’s kitchens. This is a challenge which everyone met with great panache – as they do every year.
It all starts in the School’s vast and very well equipped kitchens, where the schools take it in precisely scheduled turns to do their preparation. The students from each school are supervised by their respective teachers.
And when the day came – on Thursday December 12th – in the basic training restaurant, the whole morning was devoted to laying out the culinary specialities country by country, following the custom.
After all this, it was a fine sight which greeted the invited guests of honour and the participants from midday onwards. The buffet was officially declared open by Agnès Vaffier in the presence of Patrick Thévenin and Gérard Vitalis, Christiane Keller, Pascale Perona (President of the School’s PTE), Alain-Pierre Merger from the ‘Maison de l’Europe de Provence’ (Provence European Centre) as well as suppliers and external participants. The VIPs visited each ‘culinary space’ in turn and took the opportunity to comment at length – in glowing terms, of course!
Patrick Thévenin warmly congratulated all those responsible for the buffet, while Pascale Perona (PTE President) presented a gift to the Reggio Emilia School which was chosen by a vote among the visitors for its exhibition stand which was considered to be the most attractive.
And then Alain-Pierre Merger, President of the Provence European Centre, presented Agnès Vaffier with the European Medal, warmly applauded by the audience. And for good measure each delegation was presented with a copy of a handsome book entitled ‘Culinary Traditions’ of which the authors, Jean-Louis and Alain Ivaldi, are respectively Head of Department and Chef at the School.
The assembly rushes to get to the numerous culinary specialities, proving, as if proof were needed, that Europe is also built by citizens holding a fork and a plate!