Have French players only eaten pasta during the World Cup ?
Xavier Rousseau is the chef who followed the French team in Russia. How did it come here?
It’s a long story ! He began as an apprentice in Rennes, in northwestern France, then integrated big names in gastronomy (Ledoyen, Taillevant and Paul Bocuse) as a second cook. He then joined Sodexo Sports and Leisure where he was head of the restaurant of Roland-Garros for twelve years. Since September 2017, he has been Sodexo Sports and Leisure Chef for the French football team, both in Clairefontaine but also during sports competitions.
This place with the French players is naturally part of his career.
Since he got involved very early in sports circles, being successively chef of the restaurants of Roland-Garros, Hippodrome de Vincennes and member of the brigade for Euro 2016 around the Team of France. In addition to his duties with the France team, he is also chef for the Octave restaurant in the Seine Musicale, next to Paris.
Being the chef for the French football team requires a well-organized organization, the preparation of the menus is organized before the trip with the doctor. Before each trip, Xavier Rousseau also learns about local products and specialties of the country because his approach to provide local and seasonal products applies even abroad.
The contents of the plates are very varied. The chef breathes a maximum of creativity into the menu because meals must remain moments of pleasure and conviviality, but always in accordance with the doctor’s recommendations.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner … the rhythm of meals during the competition is calibrated on the players’ program
For perfect meals, the rule of 3: three meals a day and three food groups must be followed. Carbohydrates for energy, proteins for the repair of muscles and fruits and vegetables for the protection of health. Obviously, the meals must adapt to the schedules of the matches.
The chef’s teams offer enough choices every day to allow everyone to respond to their desires, needs and expectations.
Do players have food that is forbidden? There is no forbidden food, but rather culinary advice, avoid oils, mayonnaise, meat fat, prefer the herbs and spices for the taste rather than the excess of salt, and put forward the qualities nutritional products. These few great principles do not prevent Xavier Rousseau from being creative and from proposing adapted and tasty menus, which highlight good products. The meals are above all a moment of pleasure and conviviality for the whole team!