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They buy at Rungis

Thierry Bellot

Director of the Quai d’Orsay restaurants - Paris

From the depths of the offices in the basement of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Thierry Bellot, self-educated (49 years old), directs four catering sites and seventy staff handling around 2,500 covers daily. Nearly all the products come from Rungis.

« Rungis is the central hub for supplies of fresh produce »
 

Born in 1956 in Rabat, Morocco, Thierry Bellot arrived in France at an early age when his father was transferred there. Having spent his childhood in Moulins in the Allier, he enrolled for a three-year course at the Thonon-les-Bains Catering College in 1973. "Very quickly, he says, I felt the need to get on-the-job training and decided that Paris was my best option. Completing the BTS (Higher Technician's License) was no longer a priority. I wanted to work". No sooner said than done. For 7-8 months Thierry Bellot worked in a 4-star hotel (Ambassador Hotel) before becoming Deputy Manager of the Euromarché Group cafeterias (Auteuil, Athis-Mons, Evry, etc.) and has been in the institutional catering sector ever since. In July 1978, he left Paris to take over management of Euromarché in Belfort (his wife's hometown). As chance would have it, one year later he was back in Paris to take over as Deputy-Director of the catering establishments serving the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At the time they covered two sites (rue Lapérouse and the Quai d’Orsay) and about twenty employees. In 1993, Thierry Bellot took over the management of the company and created two more sites (boulevard Saint-Germain in 1995 and near the Invalides in 1999). The four sites currently employ about seventy people. The canteen handles 2,500 covers daily, the club restaurant 70 covers and special events can reach up to 500 covers. Calm and collected, Thierry Bellot remembers in particular the 1973 European Conference or the 1976 North-South Conference.

However, the whole enterprise could never function without Rungis Market. "We almost always use fresh produce, declares the likeable director, so Rungis is absolutely vital to us as it enables us to centralise and streamline our purchasing. Working without Rungis would be a nightmare, making our job practically impossible in logistics terms. I should also say that this specialists' market provides us with a solid guarantee of quality through compliance with standards, product traceability and professionalism. Rungis is the central hub for supplies of fresh produce. It is quite literally another world in there". Every morning between 7 and 9 a.m., meat, fish, dairy products, fruits and vegetables are delivered to the kitchens at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The goods represent a total monthly delivery of 6 tonnes of fresh produce and an annual cost of nearly €1,500,000. Thierry Bellot juggles 2-3 different suppliers for each product range to stimulate competition and ensure optimum quality. Next, it is up to the Head Chef at each site to do their best to please staff at the Quai d'Orsay and the other Civil Service bodies.

 

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