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Truffle Inclusive: Wonder And Poetry As The Heart Of The Ozanam Fonderie Mission

Truffle Inclusive: wonder and poetry as the heart of the Ozanam Fonderie mission

In our Truffle Inclusive project, the boys and girls from Fonderie Ozanam also came on board, a welcoming and human reality, where you can breathe an unparalleled energy.
At the Fonderie, people with disabilities, young people in situations of social or family hardship or anyone experiencing a situation of fragility, have the opportunity to train in the catering sector and be supported in starting work, discovering a new way to express themselves. We interviewed Loris Passarella, President of this ambitious project.

You are a poet, notoriously a dreamer and at the same time you are also President of the Ozanam Foundation which deals with extremely concrete problems, refugees, disabilities, hardships. Which of these two activities gives you the most satisfaction and rewards you the most?
Good morning, I don’t know if I’m a poet. Definitely a dreamer, a bit of a visionary. I think being a dreamer and taking care of fragile people are two complementary things. Practically putting our hands in the mix by sharing a path with the people we meet, intercepting needs with an open mind to try to respond and accompany people on a path of growth and realization, allows me, us, to be amazed at every new encounter.
But when we opened the Ozanam Foundries I wrote a poem:

At the foundries the material takes shape,
it liquefies and is reborn as an object, or food
The metal seems to have its own will,
the thought pushes him to let go melted
To then reach forms previously only imagined in the new life
and we only accompany him,
and in following his metamorphosis we begin our own

Fonderie Ozanam has a long history, can you tell us briefly about it?
Fonderie Ozanam was born from Meeting Service Catering which is a non-profit social cooperative that has been operating in the catering world for 35 years. We were born with pre-professional workshops to accompany children in difficult situations on a training path with the aim of job placement or return to school. We immediately understood that experience on the field would be fundamental for the kids. So in 1990 we started the catering business. Subsequently we managed and manage catering establishments with the main aim of training young people in a situation as similar as possible to what they will face in the world of work. We have carried out thousands of catering operations and trained hundreds of young people in fragile situations who now work in established restaurants. After training we help them find their way in the world of work, thanks to a dense network of collaborations that the cooperative has generated in recent years.
We currently have 15 working members, many of whom were trained thanks to our courses. Bakery and pizzeria, kitchen, bar room, pastry shop as well as food and self-production. You have to do it, touch it with your hands, because it’s the only way to learn. We have a vegetable garden on the roof, bees, and we produce vegetables and urban honey at zero centimetres. The latest project is “Youth&Food” through which we follow 30 young people, unaccompanied foreign minors, and with which we have launched jars of compote and preserves also using unsold fruit and vegetables in the city markets. The same authenticity that you find in our jarred products and dry pastries, all handmade by our boys, inside the Ozanam kitchens.

Work is a value, perhaps the only one that recognizes a true social identity for man. A person who works becomes an active subject of human society. Can you explain to us how, through work and cooking, you manage to train fragile people?
A little magic is created in the kitchen. The kids come to us a little lost, often after some failures, sometimes not very motivated, sometimes very restless. We welcome them, we also tell them about the difficulties and hardships of this job and then we immediately go into the kitchen to transform…. Let’s start with 2 small basic recipes, simple but good. Immediately afterwards we have them do it.
When you move on to tasting the custard, a world opens up. People who had never cooked made such a good cream in half an hour.
Start the journey by getting your hands dirty and experimenting, during the training, with some phases of real work, alternating in catering, at the Le Fonderie Ozanam restaurant or at the Bistrot Qui Da Noi. Learning on the job… but in a place where there is attention and care for the individual. During the process we identify among our contacts which could be the most suitable workplace. Many times they stop by us, other times they are hired in restaurants and pizzerias that are part of our network.

What made you decide to collaborate on this truffle-in project with T&C Tartufi?
I made this decision to reiterate that social catering can be of quality even if we work with individuals who have some fragilities, but who can find the right place to express their potential. On this track, being able to think, create and propose some recipes combined with T&C Tartufi products with our kids allows us to confirm the beautiful combination between social catering and quality. Furthermore, it gave us the opportunity to introduce the kids to a precious product that may not necessarily be reserved only for haute cuisine.

Questions for boys/girls who have prepared recipes with T&C truffle products:

Did you enjoy working with and learning about T&C truffle products?
Yes I liked it. It was the first time I was able to taste and try cooking with truffles. A particular perfume that amazed me. I felt like I was trying to work with a precious thing

What recipe gave you the most satisfaction?
Rabbit galantine. A somewhat complex preparation which together with the chef we enriched with truffles.

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