Rungis Rugby Gastronomy: stars on stage and on the plates

On the eve of the Top 14 final at the Stade de France, the fourth “Rungis Rugby Gastronomy” ceremony was held, where the stars in the kitchen rubbed their shoulders with those of the oval. To please the eyes and taste buds of the 700 privileged people present.

Between rugby and gastronomy it is a long and beautiful story. A love marriage, sometimes to the unreasonable point in a sports environment where the demand for performance is ever greater. The same requirement that we find in the heart of the largest kitchen brigades. As a hyphen between two art forms accustomed to rubbing.

This is the reason why Rungis International Market, under the responsibility of Rungis Rugby Club of Foed Chakir, and Midi Olympique has maintained this wonderful relationship for several years now. Last Thursday, in the heart of this 66-acre area as large as a city where nearly 18,000 people are busy every night before this year’s closing party, the fourth “Rungis Rugby Gastronomy” ceremony took place.

A ceremony between refined dishes and a big trophy. And with good reason. After Stéphane Layani, President of Rungis International Market, and Jean-Nicolas Baylet, CEO of La Dépêche du Midi Group, launched the festivities on stage in this newly renovated “Rungis Events” room with a fervor worthy of the grand finale . of the Top 14 at the Stade de France, the stars followed one another on stage, but also on the records.

A constellation of big names

Thierry Marx, one of the greatest French chefs, two stars in the Michelin guide, Nicolas Sale, also two stars past the very famous swordfish table and Claire Hetzler named best pastry chef Gault & Millau in 2013, had met to delight the taste buds and excite the senses. With great success. On stage, it is impossible to count the number of selections for the French team. The biggest French players had responded to the invitation, not without enthusiasm. In bulk: Thierry Dusautoir, Christian Califano, Yannick Bru, Christian Labit, Imanol Harinordoquy, Serge Betsen, Dimitri Szarzewski, Pierre Rabadan or even the former Italian international Diego Dominguez.

Their common point? All of them had repeatedly erected Brennus’ precious shield over the course of their enormous careers. Everyone remembered how much they had experienced beautiful emotions the moment they touched this “piece of wood,” which has become legendary, without forgetting to emphasize their passion for the art of the table. And everyone received a mini-shield of Brennus given by personalities, especially from the world of cinema.

Philippe Oustric, the evening’s main organizer, and Nicole Sonneville (a well-known agent in the middle of 7th Art) had invited Michèle Laroque, Thierry Lhermitte or Gérard Jugnot. Just that. The latter, who is always so colorful in the moment he tells wonderful stories, revealed many anecdotes from the time when he played rugby despite his “little physique”. People from the TV world had also taken the trip. Among them, Sophie Davant and William Leymergie or even Hélène Mannarino, the new host of TF1, called to take over from Alexandra Sublet, head of the show “C’est Canteloup” over the next school year.

The evening was also on several occasions marked by emotion and generosity. Only when Foed Chakir, chairman of the Rungis Rugby Club, handed over a check for 5,000 euros to the Amicale du Tournoi des 6 Nations, which works with young people. So, when David Ermacora, chairman of the Livingstone company, went on stage accompanied by several young people working in Secours populaire.

The story of Jacques Abramczyk, vegetable producer and wholesaler at Rungis, but above all a true protector of popular relief, aroused respect and silence among a moving audience. Among them, former Prime Minister Jean Castex, highly attached to the country and its riches, a lover of rugby as well as gastronomy, even stood up to pay tribute to this man’s kindness and brought a “standing ovation” behind him.

It is clear that an evening at Rungis would not be one if it had not lasted until well into the night. “Au veau qui tète” is an institution of “the belly of Paris”, as Émile Zola called the market, as it was located in the heart of the Halles de Paris. It was here that the night continued to the rhythm of songs and clinking glasses. But not only. At Rungis, gastronomy is not an empty word. On the contrary. So when it was time to place an order, our Midi Olympique ambassador, Imanol Harinordoquy, paid for his trip, not with beer or champagne, but with sweet bread. To everyone’s delight …

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