Montpellier: local products and “homemade” dishes, the challenge of the future central kitchen

With her double hat as president of the MIN (National Interest Market) and assistant delegate for food policy and urban agriculture, Marie Massart presents in more detail the project she is carrying out, three years from the construction of the new central kitchen.

Organize and materialize. Three years from the creation of a brand new central kitchen backed by the MIN (National Interest Market), which will supply Montpellier’s nursery and elementary schools, Marie Massart, Deputy Delegate for Food Policy and Urban Agriculture , and his team are working to imagine the plans for this project. “You have to see bigger than the old one, even if the main thing is not the size, but the addition of this logistical base that we lack today”, declares the elected official.

A vegetable room, a ripening room, a cannery, a refining space and another dedicated to pastry should therefore take place in this new base. “Our goal is to be able to do the maximum in this kitchen, which will allow us to reduce our waste, in particular by stopping ordering single desserts or pieces of packaged cheese”, assures Marie Massart.

Marie Massart, Deputy Delegate for Food Policy and Urban Agriculture.

Transform and diversify

A logistics base as a starting point, to allow the processing of raw materials on site, and thus offer a greater diversity of meals and choices on children’s plates. “We already have one vegetarian meal a week, but we would like more elaborate dishes than soy pancakes or vegetables. We have already added more than 23 new recipes, thanks to a team of dieticians, that we can compose with this cuisine more suitable for home-made.”

Homemade and local, since the current central kitchen already works with many small local producers. “We have two circles. A first of 150 km around for fruits, vegetables and a larger one which covers Occitania for meat, for example.” The new kitchen also aims to facilitate exchanges with professionals, by allowing “a single place of delivery and more interaction directly on site”.

The MIN, strategic location

The choice of proximity to the MIN is obviously no coincidence. Although the market is mainly intended for professionals and restaurateurs, it provides 15% of the products used in the central kitchen. But this is not the main argument in favor of this relocation. “It is also an opportunity to get closer to production associations in Occitanie, and to be at the heart of agri-food innovation.” The MIN, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, should also experience major changes in the years to come.

What future for the MIN

With more than 200 companies, it seems that the infrastructure of the National Interest Market of Montpellier is starting to become too small. “It’s a dilapidated, rather old MIN. We would really like to modernize it, doubling its size, which is now 9 hectares, but not only. Developing the processing center, increasing it from 7 to 15 companies , help companies get started by organizing solidarity with long-established companies and also participate in the food aid of associations” concludes Marie Massart.

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