On Thursday 19 March 2015, all around the world, restaurants will host more than 1,300 dinners to celebrate France’s gastronomy by inviting the public to share a “French dinner”.
Among them, 7 South African restaurants have been selected: 6 Spin Street, Frères Bistro in Cape Town, EAT restaurant, Sel et Poivre, The Forum Company in Johannesburg, Summerstrand Hotel in Port Elizabeth and Fusion in Durban.
In each participating restaurant, the event will render homage to a vibrant, open and innovative cuisine, while remaining true to its values of sharing, pleasure, and respect for good food, and for the planet. This first Goût de France/Good France event has already proved successful, with more participants than anticipated.
The Goût de/Good France initiative is being organized by Alain Ducasse and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development. During the project’s presentation, Laurent Fabius said: “France’s heritage is its cuisine, its wines, (…). The Gastronomic meal of the French has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 2010, but it is a heritage that should not simply be contemplated, glorified and savoured; it is a heritage that should be built upon and showcased.”
In the words of Alain Ducasse: “French cuisine is the interpreter of a cuisine that has evolved towards lightness in harmony with its environment… The common point of this event is generosity, sharing and the love of what is beautiful and tastes good. It will be a delightful interlude and an opportunity to celebrate French cuisine worldwide.”
Inspired by Auguste Escoffier, who launched the “Dîners d’Épicure” (Epicurean Dinners) initiative – the same menu, the same day, in several world cities and aimed at as many diners as possible – in 1912, Goût de France/Good France reproduces that beautiful idea with the desire to involve restaurants all around the world.
Each chef will offer a “French-style” menu in their restaurant with a traditional French aperitif, a cold starter, a hot starter, fish or shellfish, meat or poultry, a French cheese (or cheeseboard), a chocolate dessert, French wines and digestifs, while remaining free to highlight their own culinary traditions and cultures.
The cuisine will be accessible to all, from bistros through to exceptional restaurants, and based on fresh, seasonal and local products with lower levels of fat, sugar, salt and protein.
The menu’s price is at the restaurant’s discretion, and they are all encouraged to donate 5% of proceeds to a local NGO promoting health and the environment.
A GASTRONOMIC JOURNEY
- France has invited the world to a savoury journey, bringing together more than 1,300 chefs from around the world who will use the French culinary knowhow to express their talent and expertise through 1300 menus.
- All participating restaurants are now present on good-france.com website.
- Visitors to the site can find the participating restaurants in their city & country and book directly at the restaurant of their choice.
- Many chefs have already posted their menu on Good France, so that diners can fantasize about the dinner they will savour on 19 March.
AN INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF CHEFS
- Eateries around the world – from haute cuisine restaurants to bistros – were invited to apply on the goodfrance.com website, proposing a menu that showcases France’s culinary traditions.
- An international selection committee of chefs, chaired by Alain Ducasse, has approved the list of participating chefs, including Paul Bocuse (France), Raymond Blanc (United Kingdom), Thomas Keller (United States), Kiyomi Mikuni (Japan), Paul Pairet (China), Joël Robuchon (France), Nadia Santini (Italy), Guy Savoy (France)…
A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO ENJOY AND SHARE THE TASTE OF FRANCE
- This gastronomic journey is a perfect illustration of two important aspects of French culture: promoting local specialties and openness to the outside world.
- It will be an opportunity to share values with as many people as possible, that are dear to, and ardently defended by the French people: conviviality and respect for our planet and its resources. And, most importantly, to share a moment of pleasure. Now, more than ever, gastronomy is a beacon of French culture. It is a genuine pull factor for 60% of tourists visiting the country.
- Eléonore Godfroy-Briggs
French Institute of South Africa
011 727 5112