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Pascal Tailhandier, extreme caterer

Supplier to various IMOCA skippers, Pascal Tallandier offers sailors a great variety of ready-made meals.

Copyright : Christophe Favreau
Copyright : Christophe Favreau

I’m a caterer, based near Nantes at Sainte-Luce-sur-Loire (Pays de la Loire) and over the past 3 years I’ve developed a range of products designed specifically for offshore racing skippers. They are ready-made meals. We strive to concoct a gastronomic cuisine for people who are in situations of varying extremes and I believe that skippers are part of this category. I got into offshore racing a little by chance. I am a native of the Auvergne and I had no experience of the sailing world until recently. I discovered this environment as I’m a member of the CJD, the Centre for Young Directors, which was supporting Pierre-Yves Guennec in the Route du Rhum 2010. The principle behind it was to talk, like all the members of this group who manage small businesses, rather than giving a cheque, so we each passed on our respective expertise. In this way, I visited Pierre-Yves to see what I could do for him and I discovered to my great surprise that the means for cooking up a meal aboard a race boat are very limited. At that point I decided to adapt my cooking to the sporting constraints of these sailors. I use a technique called sterilisation, which consists of sterilising the plastic sachet that will contain the food, which is vacuum packed. Once the skippers get back from racing, I draw up a report with those sailors who use our products so we can continue to improve our recipes. We’re now in a position to offer over 32 recipes in all, which gives the sailors a choice and most importantly enables them to retain the enjoyment of eating at sea, to continue to chew and to continue to eat fibre. I’m convinced that the comfort of a good meal assists performance and the ability to keep your spirits up, which isn’t always easy when the sea state is tough and when performance is down. The idea, now that we’ve taken into account all these extreme constraints, is to take things a step further and extend our service to a wider audience, according to this base developed for the sailors.

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