The so­lu­tion for pas­try pro­fes­sion­als

The team from Cater­ing News Mid­dle East were shown first­hand how Chef Mid­dle East’s pas­try range pro­vides a com­plete so­lu­tion for pas­try pro­fes­sion­als across the re­gion…

CateringNews Middle East - - Case Study -

It is one thing to have a wonderful prod­uct but it is quite an­other to be able to get the mes­sage out to the mar­ket.

That was why Chef Mid­dle East, the one stop so­lu­tion for the re­gional din­ing scene’s qual­ity food and bev­er­age re­quire­ments, and re­cently of­fer­ing a com­plete so­lu­tion for Pas­try pro­fes­sion­als, or­ga­nized a work­shop last month

with frozen fruit and veg­etable puree man­u­fac­turer Les Verg­ers Bo­iron to show­case what Chef Mid­dle East has to of­fer.

The firm was al­ready one of the lead­ing lights in the food­ser­vice in­dus­try here in the Mid­dle East and that rep­u­ta­tion has only been bol­stered by the an­nounce­ment it has teamed up with French dairy brand Pres­i­dent.

That means that Chef Mid­dle East now of­fers pas­try pro­fes­sion­als a dream-team of op­tions with Val­rhona, Les Verg­ers Bo­iron and, now, Pres­i­dent.

The work­shop was an­other ex­am­ple of how Chef Mid­dle East ex­e­cutes its vi­sion of con­tin­u­ously de­vel­op­ing and bring­ing on­board new brands to serve the needs of its cus­tomers – as well as in­vest­ing in its own in-house tal­ent to set the bench­mark for the in­dus­try in the re­gion.

Les Verg­ers Bo­iron area sales man­ager Flo­rian Gol­hen says that he re­quired an au­di­ence with some of Dubai’s lead­ing pas­try chefs to make sure the right peo­ple were made aware of the ben­e­fits of Les Verg­ers Bo­iron’s prod­ucts.

The re­sult was a spe­cial work­shop with Chef Michel Wil­laume, a leg­end in the world of pas­try cook­ing, held at Chef Mid­dle East’s own Culi­nary In­no­va­tion Cen­tre at their head­quar­ters in DIP2.

“Each year we or­gan­ise work­shops with tal­ented Pas­try Chefs, our brand am­bas­sadors who know the re­gion here in the Mid­dle East,” says Flo­rian.

“The idea is to share ex­per­tise and of­fer new tech­niques that chefs in this re­gion might not be fa­mil­iar with.”

Juan L Lopez, head of cat­e­gory team with Chef Mid­dle East says the event was a re­in­force­ment of his com­pany’s “com­mit­ment to the culi­nary com­mu­nity”.

“Our strat­egy is not just about hav­ing the right brands. It is about giv­ing value to our cus­tomers and en­gag­ing with the right peo­ple to pro­vide a value-added ser­vice,” he says, adding that Les Verg­ers Bo­iron is a key com­po­nent of Chef Mid­dle East’s ev­er­grow­ing port­fo­lio of brands.

“This is a dream team of brands that we of­fer to pas­try chefs across the re­gion. It al­lows us to pro­vide a full so­lu­tion for four and five-star ho­tels, even a seven-star ho­tel in some cases, as well as cater­ers in ca­sual and fine-din­ing.”

Lopez says that, even though Les Verg­ers Bo­iron is a high-qual­ity brand, it is vi­tal, in the com­pet­i­tive Dubai mar­ket, to get the mes­sage across to the right peo­ple.

Chef Michel adds that the work­shop was the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to ed­u­cate the mar­ket about the Les Verg­ers Bo­iron brand – a sub­ject he clearly feels pas­sion­ate about.

“Peo­ple al­ways say that work­ing with fresh fruit is the quick­est and best so­lu­tion. But when you have dif­fer­ent sea­sons it lim­its your op­tions,” he says.

“Some peo­ple be­lieve that frozen prod­ucts are in­fe­rior but that is not al­ways to the case.

“If you have a qual­ity frozen prod­uct it means you don’t have to wait un­til next sea­son to cre­ate a cer­tain dish, it can be on the shelf all year round if the cus­tomer asks for it.”


An­other ad­van­tage to Les Verg­ers Bo­iron’s prod­uct that both Chef Michel and Flo­rian are keen to flag up is the health ben­e­fit.

“As it has nat­u­ral sugar in­side you don’t have to add any sugar to it,” says Flo­rian, who quite rightly is proud of the fact that his com­pany’s prod­uct also con­tains no pes­ti­cides, no preser­va­tives and no colour­ing.

“You have a big em­pha­sis on healthy op­tions in restau­rants, con­sumers pay a lot more at­ten­tion to the in­gre­di­ents nowa­days. We are all in the same po­si­tion re­ally, we want to know what it is that we are eat­ing.” Chef Michel con­curs. “Now we have a range of purees that are 100% fruit,” he says.

“There is no sugar added. This is vi­tal to chefs as so many cus­tomers are driven by keep­ing the calo­rie count down, it helps give chefs even more lib­erty.”

With di­a­betes lev­els ris­ing across the world, Les Verg­ers Bo­iron’s em­pha­sis on pro­vid­ing a healthy prod­uct is sure to be wel­comed.

The abil­ity to ex­per­i­ment has long been a pri­or­ity for any lead­ing-chef and Flo­rian feels that Les Verg­ers Bo­iron is per­fectly placed to pro­vide for that.

“Peo­ple are more will­ing than ever to dis­cover new things,” he says.

“We pro­vide a unique op­por­tu­nity to play about with colours and flavours. Peo­ple from the Mid­dle East are used to trav­el­ling, they want to be able to get the very same things in Dubai, or the en­tire Mid­dle East, in fact, that they were able to get in Asia or Europe.”


Chef Michel says that Les Verg­ers Bo­iron has a unique insight, down to its 75-year his­tory, that gives it a cer­tain knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence that can­not be faked.

“It is not just about eat­ing purees, we have a lot of dif­fer­ent ways to play,” he says.

“If I want to make an ex­otic flavour I can cre­ate my own.

An­other win-win with Les Verg­ers Bo­iron prod­ucts is the time it saves chefs in the kitchen. “It ab­so­lutely saves time,” says Chef Michel. “If you are us­ing a puree you don’t have to treat it like you would with fresh fruit or veg­eta­bles. You don’t have to clean it ei­ther which saves on the cost of hav­ing to pay some­one to do that.

“It’s im­por­tant that you can save that time with­out sac­ri­fic­ing the qual­ity of the prod­uct.”

“This a third-gen­er­a­tion fam­ily busi­ness,” says Flo­rian.

“Un­like a lot of our com­peti­tors, we are not part of a large cor­po­ra­tion which means that qual­ity al­ways comes first and the fi­nan­cial as­pect is not al­lowed to over­ride that key prin­ci­ple. As a com­pany if we feel a prod­uct is not up to the high com­pany stan­dard then we will look at dis­con­tin­u­ing it, rather than put out an in­fe­rior qual­ity prod­uct.”

It’s clear that trans­parency is vi­tal to how Les Verg­ers Bo­iron does busi­ness.

“We be­lieve in build­ing re­la­tion­ships with cus­tomers and en­sur­ing there is full trans­parency in how we do busi­ness,” he says.

“If some­thing is short of qual­ity we are quite pre­pared to stop the pro­duc­tion of that line and tell the cus­tomer and client that it will only come back when it is the way it should be.

“I think the hon­esty of that speaks vol­umes about the in­tegrity of Les Verg­ers Bo­iron.”


Chef Mid­dle East also par­tic­i­pated in Gul­food 2018 at Dubai World Trade Cen­tre last month.

Even though the fo­cus was firmly on Val­rhona, Val­rhona Sig­na­ture and Sosa – Steve Pyle, CEO Chef Mid­dle East, and his team were still very much a vis­i­ble pres­ence at the event.

“It is im­por­tant for us to be here with the brands we are sup­port­ing,” Pyle said.

“Sosa is a new brand for us un­der­neath the Val­rhona um­brella. But we see huge op­por­tu­nity for that, not just in the UAE mar­ket but also In Oman and Qatar where we work. We are look­ing ahead with en­thu­si­asm for what we hope will be a good year for the busi­ness.”

It’s just an­other ex­am­ple of Chef Mid­dle East’s com­mit­ment to both its clients and the wider re­gion.

Juan L Lopez, head of cat­e­gory team with Chef Mid­dle East

Chef Michel Wil­laume leads the work­shop

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