API Restauration runs a competition: create a bespoke jam

by | Art of Confiture

11

July 2018

Ten chefs from the API Group took part in a friendly in-house competition. The aim was to invent a bespoke jam recipe. Andrésy provided support in the form of advice and know-how.

In 2017, Andrésy Confitures took part in a rather unusual event. It accepted a request from API Restauration to be its partner in an in-house event organised by the Group for its employees.

API is a major player in the high-end food service and hotel industry, and manages canteens in companies, schools, hospitals and retirement homes. It is a recognised advocate of traditional cooking, preferably using seasonal products, and tailored service quality: all features that made Andrésy Confitures keen to work with this family company.

Ten candidates in the running for a bespoke jam

API Restauration regularly organises special events in company canteens.

In this particular case, all API employees were invited to create a special jam that embodies the Group’s identity and quality values. A product that could be tasted in its restaurants’ “yoghurt bars” and “crêpe bars”, and at breakfast in certain residential facilities.

The competition unfolded in three stages:

1. Everyone invented their jam, initially on paper. Then the recipes’ ingredient lists and instructions were submitted to chefs and quality, safety and environmental specialists for appraisal. Ten recipes were short-listed.

2. The ten recipes were cooked by each employee at their work site, then taken to the Paris Culinary Institute, one of API’s training schools, for blind tasting. The selection panel was made up of Laure Cassan, Andrésy Confitures’ chief executive, two representatives from Andrésy’s R&D team, members of API’s management team and the 10 candidates in the running. The goal was to elect the best three products.

3. The three finalist recipes were cooked in a full-size batch and put into jars in the Andrésy workshop. API Restauration chose the competition’s winning recipe. The recipe that received the most votes was the butternut-pineapple-orange jam made by the chef at the Bosch site in Saint-Ouen (93),

Andrésy’s jam-making know-how and copper-jam-pan cooking process obviously played a role in bringing out the fruits’ flavours, since the recipe had not been in the lead in the first round of the competition.

« A fruitful collaboration based on the same value »

Andrésy Confitures’ support and advice

For this competition, Andrésy trained and advised the candidates about the specific standards applicable to jams: the number of ingredients possible, the different fruit consistencies (puree, chunks), the types and quantities of sugar allowed, and so on.

This way, the candidates were able to invent a recipe that met precise criteria:

  • it had to be original;
  • it had to use autumn fruit, whose qualities are sometimes overlooked;
  • it had to meet the regulatory requirements;
  • it had to be reproducible in a full-size batch in the Andrésy Confitures factory.

Produced exclusively for API Restauration

The Butternut-pineapple-orange recipe was cooked in a single run and put into 270g and 1 kilo jars, customised with an API Restauration label. It goes perfectly with bread or toast, crêpes, waffles and yoghurts, and as a garnish for foie gras. It has been immensely popular in the company canteens and the employees of these companies had a chance to buy some for themselves.

Ivan Bodiou, manager of the Bosch site in Drancy, congratulated Philippe Noyon, the winning chef, for his imagination and taste. He explains why Andrésy was an obvious choice of partner: “For an outstanding product, we wanted to have the support and guidance of a top-notch jam maker. We knew Andrésy Confitures by reputation. Also, some of our chefs, who had tasted their recipes while travelling, had recognised the uncompromising quality standards advocated in their day-to-day work. So it was the ideal partner to help us meet this challenge!”»

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