Monaco’s chefs safeguarding local culinary heritage

Local restaurants have come together for a workshop titled ‘From seed to plate’, designed to safeguard local culinary heritage. This time, it was was the Rose de Menton onion in the spotlight.

As part ‘Engaged Restaurants’, all of the chefs involved in the initiative attended a meeting at the Eileen Gray Salon at Monte-Carlo Beach on Monday 26th June.

Organised by the Monaco Government and the Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer (SBM), a workshop was led by Farmer Maxime Schmitt and Artisan Chef Victor Brandi, co-presidents of the Maison des Semences Paysannes Maralpines, around local culinary heritage and cultivated biodiversity. The aim: to create a link between the seed and the plate.

It was an opportunity for the chefs to rediscover a local product that had fallen into oblivion, the Rose de Menton onion, that the Maison des Semences Paysannes Maralpines has resown and put back in the spotlight.

This onion is a strong marker of local culinary identity as several traditional dishes of the region have an onion base, in particular pissaladière and oignon farci.

The chefs then had an opportunity to discuss with their peers the numerous possibilities of using this native onion, which had been prepared in all its forms for the occasion.

“Beyond its flavour, this produce carries strong values that are perfectly consistent with those of the Restaurant Engagé label: the promotion of local and peasant agriculture, the safeguarding of cultivated biodiversity, the preservation of know-how and the independence of the peasants, and the ‘taste for good things’,” said the government in a statement.

The Committed Trade and Restaurant labels are managed by the Department of the Environment and its partner Ecoscience Provence and now include more than 100 establishments in the Principality, including 40 restaurants.

To find out more about the Rose de Menton onion and more native seeds, head to Menton on 9th July for the Pink Onion Festival (Fête de l’oignon rose).


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Photo source: Government Communication Department