Marie Curry, the recipe for supportive gastronomy – Liberation

Climate Libé Tour : Bordeaux

Marie Curry accompanies women of immigrant background in setting up their restaurant business. A way to enhance one’s culinary heritage by proposing an eco-responsible world cuisine.

Transport, industrial restructuring, revegetation… In 2023, Set free will explore the theme of ecological transition during a series of unprecedented encounters. Objective: to find solutions as close as possible to the territories. First stage, Bordeaux, 4 and 5 February (free admission upon registration). An event organized in collaboration with the city of Bordeaux, the Gironde department, the University of Bordeaux, the Crédit coopératif, Velux, the observation platform for urban projects and strategies (Popsu).

Syrian refugee Khuzama Dalati enchants the palate with her orange blossom cardamom flavored Aleppo cuisine. Ursula Médaille, single-parent head of the family, likes to introduce ingredients linked to her Guiano-Central African origin such as cassava leaves or plantains. Mokhigoul Issoboeva, a Tajik refugee enrolled in an activity and work cooperative, excels in the art of preparing puff pastries with meat and spices…

These forty-year-olds are part of the community of fifteen chefs accompanied in 2022 by Marie Curry. “Our mission is to promote the professional integration of refugee and migrant women by promoting their culinary heritage.“, explains Elise Thorel, co-founder, with Sandrine Clément, of this solidarity company of social utility. “The kitchen is one of the few things the women take with them into their exile. It is transferable know-how that allows you to build links easily. It was important for us to develop a project based on the economic, social and cultural value of women’s home cooking.insists the 30-year-old, a communication expert who trained at the Ferrandi school in Paris to refine her solidarity gastronomy project.

“Women can discuss their practices”

To help these women set up their own self-catering business, Marie Curry provides one-on-one, tailored follow-up. It includes a social component, with assistance in mobility or in learning French. Professionalisation is acquired with culinary workshops, entrepreneurship training and the possibility of providing services under the supervision of a chef. Her clients? Public or private companies, even local entities, seduced by the company’s social mission and curious to discover an original culinary offer for an event or a lunch with trays. “With this catering service, women work together, they can discuss their recipes, their practices, the keys to successenthuses Elise Thorel. The chefs then meet again in Artigues-près-Bordeaux, about ten kilometers north-east of the metropolis, in a culinary laboratory which occupies the former kitchen of a kindergarten borrowed from the city. We spread the values ​​of a more inclusive and sustainable cuisine, insists Elise Thorel. The supplies for our catering service are made by local producers, from organic or sustainable agriculture. Waste reduction is also a priority with returnable glass containers.»

The year got off to a flying start: in February, Marie Curry opened her third-place restaurant La ManuCo, in the Saint-Michel district of Bordeaux, where her offices are already located. “The catering business and the restaurant allow us to create permanent positions. In February we will be eight employees“, rejoices the co-founder. At the end of the year, the company will also be able to count on a new kitchen laboratory located in Bordeaux, three times larger than the current one. It will facilitate logistics and allow delivery by cargo bike with solidarity actors. Despite some difficulties such as the search for funding or the necessary adaptation to cultural prejudices, while the women chefs come from a dozen different nationalities, Marie Curry seems to be the right recipe for solidarity gastronomy.

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