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Sophie Champaux
Sophie Champaux

Travelling cook

Getting involved in territorial development

I came to EM Normandie in 2005 as part of a career change. I was leaving the industrial world in which I had been a production manager. The company was closing its doors.

I had realised through various encounters that I had a certain appetite for territorial economic development and territorial marketing.

At the time, I wanted to enter the territorial universe. I didn't yet know which door to go through. My project wasn't clearly defined at the time.

One of our speakers came to talk about sustainable development in 2003. Throughout his talk, I took a lot of notes. The subject spoke to me a lot and I had the impression that I already had one foot in it. I felt deep down that there was a real opportunity to be seized at that moment.

Be a pioneer in development

I'm attached to the industrial world I grew up in, i.e. the world of small and medium-sized businesses. I get close to the players who revolve around this environment to understand that there is an expectation on their side. There seems to be a need to provide companies with knowledge of what sustainable development is and what they could do with it.

Based on this idea, I'm setting up a collective project in a business park around this subject to get companies of all sizes to discuss these issues and come up with joint actions.

In hindsight, I realise that I'm driven by innovation.

I am seizing the opportunity that sustainable development offers me in terms of territorial innovation. This applies not only to businesses but also to the world of associations, local authorities, small or large communes...

Having the strength to commit

When I came to EM Normandie, I had become aware that I had a sensibility and that I was a committed person. This meeting with the territorial development speaker reinforced that feeling. I was convinced that there were really things to be done in this area and that this subject needed to be tackled head on. 

It was also important for me to give hope to the younger generations.

We were debating the subject of sustainable development among students. It seemed essential to me to be able to feel useful.

Through this commitment, you have to succeed in creating links and taking people with you who may be resistant to the subject. The economic dimension must not take precedence over an entire career path. There is also a societal and ecological dimension to take into account.

Launching your association

I launched the association Sur les Pas de So in 2015. Each year, a 7-day walk is organised along the paths of Normandy in aid of a health cause. The aim is to unite researchers, healthcare professionals, businesses and elected representatives around a cause and to do prevention work with the general public on this cause.

It was very important for me to try to unite local players around the common good of health.

Mixing passion and profession

I've always loved cooking ever since I was a little girl. I used to read cookery books for hours on end. I really had the desire to fulfil this dream.

Today, I've made the link between these approaches to sustainable development, my appetite for walking and this culinary passion to transform myself and now do itinerant cooking.

My job as an entrepreneur consists of travelling to places to cook for people who come for a stay. I'm leaving next Monday for a week in a gîte to cook for 13 people morning, noon and night. In June, I cooked for around thirty young people who were putting on a musical.

Bringing the vision of the travelling cook

Upstream, I go to the producers. They explain their trade to me and for me it makes sense to pass on good health in the plates.

Most of all, I want to keep my cooking simple and I want people to call me a "cook" and not a "chef". I think I embody that term well. I really want to breathe new life into it.

In this travelling kitchen concept, people get together in groups with friends in an associative setting or with colleagues at professional seminars.

We're often in places close to nature. My role is to add pleasure to a moment of work or reflection.

Giving meaning to your career path

The need for meaning is essential for me. I've never been in an economic quest. I've always done things out of conviction because they contributed to a movement in society. I've always wanted to do that.

For me, cooking in such a simple way corresponds to who I am. I'm going to end my professional career this way and I'm delighted.

I think you have to look deep inside yourself for what you really want. You can't be afraid to dare and you have to trust yourself.

When you have particular strengths and appetites, you have to know how to follow them to find your path. Sometimes it takes several experiences to get there. That's why you may have chosen one path on leaving school and then a few years later take another. Everything we do in life is connected.

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