« Le Volant des Chefs », an event combining gastronomy and sports car racing took place on October 25th in the Champagne region of France.
6 racing car drivers behind the ovens, 12 Michelin star chefs behind the steering wheel. For 24 hours the roles were reversed in the 3-stars restaurant « L’assiette Champenoise » and on the Ecuyers Race Track.
The racing drivers’ challenge : Produce a dish which will be blind tested by a jury.
The chefs’ challenge : Attain the best lap time behind the wheel of a Megane RS Trophy.
A group of chefs, passionate about motorsport, replied to an invitation from Renault. The promising young stars of a generation : Michel Rostang, Michel Chabran, César Troisgros, Arnaud Lallement, Jacques Maximin, Babette de Rozières, Christian Tetedoie, Thierry Méchinaud (chef at Pierre Gagnaire’s), Sébastien Sanjou and Guillaume Gomez (chef at the Elysée).
It was also a very mouthwatering invitation for the professional drivers and gourmets : Jacques Lafitte, Jean Ragnotti, Erik Comas, Philippe Alliot, Manu Guigou and to add a feminine touch to proceedings, Margot Lafitte.
First round behind the ovens : Action stations in the kitchen !
A severe test of skill in the cooking competition. The racing drivers were monitored and closely coached by the Michelin star chefs. Here they had to produce a recipe for « Blue Lobster from Brittany, with potatoes », a signature dish from the Lallement kitchen.
The second round is on the 3,5 km Écuyers Race Track.
As we head for the Ecuyers Race Track, under the leadership of Patrice Ratti, Director of Sport Technology at Renault, chef hats and aprons are swapped for helmets and race suits : Technical briefing and security in the locker room, followed by an introduction to the cars and the outlining of the circuit.
On the menu today we discover the performance possibilities of the Megane R.S. 275 Trophy and it’s smaller sister, the Clio R.S. 220 EDC Trophy. So the chefs could have the maximum sensation and fun behind the wheel, technical coaching and guidance was provided by the racing drivers. At the heart of the circuit is the impressive Renault Sport R.S. 01 which will take the winners on a baptism of fire around the track.
One driver, two chefs, three trophies.
In this edition of « Volant des Chefs » in Champagne, the big winners are Jean Ragnotti who won the cooking competition with flying colours, the chef Thierry Méchinaud who left with the trophy for the gymkhana obstacle course, and César Troisgros who brilliantly won the time trial on the track.
Renault, an International business with French roots, endeavours to support, defend and promote the art and culture of French living. This event is a rare opportunity to unite it’s passion and excellence and it’s influence internationally.
Thanks to this unique event, which laced together powerful emotions, feelings and the passing on of know-how, Renault has been able to highlight the great talents which make up the landscape of French gastronomy and motor-sport.
WHETHER BEHIND THE STEERINGWHEEL OR IN THE KITCHEN : BEING PART OF THE « FRENCH TOUCH » IS AN HONOUR !