AROM...or the Art of Corporate Canapés

By Maxine Colas

This week I was lucky enough to visit the impressive new 'laboratory' of the AROM group, the largest luxury catering company in South West France. The group, based in the suburbs of Bordeaux, is owned and run by CEO Didier Oudin and offers a mouth-watering range of luxury corporate and event catering services, including the famous Maison Lacoste creations, which no self-respecting corporate cocktail in Bordeaux would be without.  I had never before been inside a professional catering establishment and was duly impressed by the 1700 square metres of pristine kitchens, preparing and cooking rooms - they even have their own smokehouse for homemade smoked salmon, duck breast and cured hams...

The group, which moved to its brand new premises in Eysines last year, is well equipped to cater for any event - from weddings to trade shows - but also offers personalized 'picnic' baskets and cocktail canapé boxes for delivery to your door or as takeaways (a welcome rarity in Bordeaux I can tell you!). This more informal trademark of the group is called "dabbAwala", named after the traditional food porters which operate all over India, carrying meals to offices and private customers. The group is looking at the possibility of setting up an outlet in central Bordeaux, for what promises to be a popular (and very affordable) concept. 
"Our aim is to be operating on a 24-hour basis," said Carlos Porras, the group's PR representative.

 After watching the sous-chefs at work preparing delicious-looking savory and sweet canapés for delivery to various events, we enjoyed a welcome glass of Perret-Jouët champagne and some of the in-house specialities, including sublime smoked salmon and foie gras macaroons, before tucking into a superb 3 course lunch served in the "Atelier" or workshop kitchen/dining room, which is ideal for a hands-on cookery class or tasting for intimate groups of up to 8/10 guests.

With a permanent staff of 40 and plenty of 'extras' for the busiest times of the year, their own bakery, an impressive fleet of delivery vans and a young, dynamic management team, Arom has set its sights high. "A normal day for us includes 20-25 events to cater for, but we can cope with a lot more," claims Jean Aubinat, Arom's marketing and communication manager.  



British-born Maxine Colas has a Masters degree in French from the University of London. She also studied wine at the Bordeaux Chamber  of  Commerce and the University of Bordeaux Oenology department. She holds a diploma from the Insititute of Wines and Spirits.

Maxine lectures at the Bordeaux Wine School and the CIVB, specializing in both Bordeaux wine tasting initiation and advanced levels.

She has worked in public relations for various Bordeaux châteaux as well as for Wente Vineyards in California : for whom she has organised gala events around wine, in Château Pape Clement.

Maxine is also involved as a consultant and seminar leader for corporate wine-tasting events and organizes customized Bordeaux wine tours for private or group tours.

When planning an itinerary it is always important to know which types of wine, which particular areas & which châteaux visitors would prefer to discover.

Also what sort of accommodation & meals would suit them (country-style, city-style, gastronomic etc...).

Maxine Colas

+33 615 791 509 

If you are interested in Maxine's services, please do not hesitate to contact her via email or phone Please fill in the form for a private or a group tour.

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