The kitchen court of Potel et Chabot, official Roland-Garros caterer

It’s 11 o’clock at Porte d’Auteuil, the first racquet shots ring out. Below the pitches another match is being played. Serve 3,500 covers at lunchtime from noon. From the two kitchens installed under the Philippe-Chatrier and Suzanne-Lenglen courts, a brigade of 250 cooks is busy, calmly managed by chef Marie Soria. At the head of the kitchens of Potel et Chabot since 2016, this Breton is at her thirtieth Roland: “Two weeks is intense. You have to prepare physically. It’s as if we were returning to the courts. »

Each service has its own truth. “We depend on matches. If there is one at 2 p.m., customers will be in a rush. If it starts at 3 p.m., they will take their time,” she continues. The challenge is daunting: send 7,000 meals for the 17 lodges of the Village and the reception areas in the heart of Lenglen and central: the Circle, the Terrace and the Club des loges.

It took six months of preparation to develop the 25 different menus. “Some customers come every day. There is no question that they eat the same thing twice. For 15 days, we need to have original and very varied menus,” assures the chef. The card is scalable and the environmental imperatives and the consumption of more and more space. No question of passing on the products. The house demonstrates that quality also flows into quantity.

Marie Soria has been in charge of the kitchens of the Potel et Chabot caterer since 2016. (Étienne Garnier/L’Équipe)

Take the skrei. We work here with this cousin of cod because it is caught after its reproduction period. On the plant side, Potel et Chabot get their supplies from Éric Roy, a super organic market gardener based in the Loire who plants, harvests and delivers plant treasures. On the plate, it’s a small garden. On a slice of butternut boosted with a carrot-kalamansi condiment are planted artichokes, pickled radishes and passion fruit vinaigrette.

Pastry chef Marc Rivière is on the alert from 5 a.m. He then began his rounds, just to check the Gariguette strawberry dessert, the good performance of the buttermilk siphon or even show the teams how to improvise an icing sugar sprinkler by perforating a plastic jar with the tip of a knife. This tour de force, the house has been practicing for two centuries.

The Parisian institution is one of the pioneers of the profession. In 1820, the roaster and pastry chef Jean-François Potel and Étienne Chabot, master chef of the Duke of Orléans, opened the first top-of-the-range caterer on rue Montmartre. Since then, the house has posted impressive service records and a record. On September 22, 1900, she served 22,965 mayors at the World’s Fair in what is considered the greatest banquet in history. Next sporting challenge? The World Cup in Qatar, at the end of November, for which Potel and Chabot will cook 10,000 meals a day, dispatched to the four stadiums planned for the competition. From clay to grass, the house is at home on any terrain.


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