Passion TraiteurSunday 01 June 2003
Making each service an event
Created in 1986 in the 17th district of Paris, Passion Traiteur is today up with the leaders in its profession nationwide. Its speciality : cocktails for firms and events. Areas where creativity, rapidity and absolute reliability are the watchwords every day. An interview with Françoise Hendrickx, sales director, and Olivier Mille, head chef.Founded by Daniel Aubin and Daniel Bonora, Passion Traiteur was only a small cake shop to begin with, offering a limited range of takeaway produce. Quality and word of mouth soon led the shop to expand its range of canapés and petit fours to meet the increasing demand from companies. In 1987, an initial facility for cocktail preparation was set up in Asnières. But the company really took off in 1995 when Passion Traiteur started to specialise in organising events for big companies, entered the very much closed circle of caterers for the Stade de France and set up a 2500m3 facility in Colombes. Today, the company employs 180 people of whom 150 handle all the cooking, pastries and delivery logistics. “Our strong point is knowing how to match both the event and what the customer wants”, explains Françoise Hendrickx. “We always try to come up with a theme the variations of which can be used throughout the event, setting a particular mood to a cocktail or a day.
We regularly work for big companies, big exhibitions such as Le Bourget Air Show or the International Car Show, big communication groups. Therefore we have to put a lot of creativity into our cooking, but also into the presentation and staging. Whenever we step in, we want everybody to remember it as a genuine event.”
High standards in the kitchen
Olivier Mille, head chef for Passion Traiteur since 2001, knows all the specific requirements of the trade by heart, where you have to forever be juggling between creativity, the intrinsic quality of the raw materials, rapidity and adapting to the economic constraints. “It’s a trade where you have to know how to work as a team, make quick decisions, forever coming up with new ideas in order to establish customer loyalty. For us, partnerships with reliable suppliers are very important. That’s why we have been working for four years with people like Rougié. Whether it is ready-to-serve pâtés or fresh or frozen foie gras, they have a wide range of individual sliced portions that save us a lot of precious time in the kitchen. What’s more, there’s no waste. Food safety is also a big concern for our customers. With Rougié, we know that the rules of hygiene, the continuity of the food chain are well respected. Then there is the creative aspect. I recently discovered foie gras nuggets. They immediately gave me the idea of concocting a dish with them where they could be discovered cooked in different ways. We must always be on the look-out for new ideas, and be inspired by different styles of cuisine from around the world”.
Originally from the South of France, Olivier Mille started out as an apprentice in 1984 at Matheron in Castelet. He then worked in Paris, then at the Hotel du Palais in Biarritz. In the course of his career, he has also been with Potel and Chabot, the Piazza Athenee and the Pavillon Ledoyen. He has been head chef at Passion Traiteur since 2001.
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