Epicurean Dining as — Escoffier-style — 1000 Chefs Serve Up French Menus World-Wide

In the style of Auguste Escoffier and his “Diners d’Epicure” — Epicurean Dinners — showcasing prestigious French cuisine abroad, more than 1,300 French dinners are to be served at restaurants and French embassies across five continents on Thursday, March 19.

A chance for an Epicurean dinner at 1300 restaurants or French embassies around the world

A chance for an Epicurean dinner at 1300 restaurants or French embassies around the world

“Goût de France / Good France” organised by Alain Ducasse, a Michelin-starred chef, for the French foreign ministry, will celebrate French cuisine which in 2010 was designated by UNESCO as part of the “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity”.

Guests lucky enough to find a table will enjoy a full French-style menu – an apéritif, a cold entrée , a hot entrée, shellfish or fish, poultry or meat, French cheese, a chocolate dessert, and a selection of French wines or digestifs.

All participants have been chosen by Ducasse and his committee of international chefs, who vetted proposed menus from restaurants round the world. The meals respecting French tradition will essentially highlight the sharing and enjoyment of high-quality food.

As Ducasse notes on the official website promoting the event: “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.”

All restaurants participating are found on this website, so dedicated followers of top class cuisine can identify those in their city or country and book directly. Some of the chefs have also posted their menus on the website.

Gastronomy — a leading aspect of France and its culture, is given as a major reason for visiting by 60% of the tourists who travel to France — 84.7 million in 2013 alone . Goût de France organisers are promoting the event as perfectly illustrating UNESCO’s World Heritage listing and a way of making France even more attractive as a destination.

Goût de France is inspired by Auguste Escoffier’s 1912 Dîners d’Épicure (Epicurean Dinners) initiative—the same menu, the same day, in several world cities, aimed at as many diners as possible.

Details in French including a map of participants can be found here.

The video clip below shows one Auguste Escoffier’s Les Dîners d’Épicure perpetuated by La Fondation Escoffier

Dîner d’Epicure – 28 Octobre 2009 – Musée Escoffier à Villeneuve Loubet By Musée Escoffier de l’Art Culinaire à Villeneuve Loubet.

Indeed Escoffier’s art and traditions are kept alive around the world. Founded May 18, 1994 here for example is the website of his “disciples“:  the Association Gastronomique pour le maintien du bon renom et des traditions de la Cuisine Française brings together 35 000 disciples around the world in 30 countries, including 2000 in France.

Gout de France in a New York restaurant (Copyright Pierre Monetta)

Gout de France in a New York restaurant (Copyright Pierre Monetta)

Curiously India, which has its own internationally famous cuisines held by some to be among the 10 most outstanding in the world, is an enthusiastic participant in the French initiative. In India 48 restaurants have been selected to participate, ranking the country at fourth place on the total list of 150, after Italy (96), Japan (61), and Brazil (55).

Goût de France is a one-night only event inspired by Auguste Escoffier, who started his Epicurean Dinners – the same menu, the same day, in several world cities and aimed at as many good food enthusiasts as possible – in 1912.

Choose your favourite table at a bistro, a brewery, contemporary, or haute cuisine restaurant. Taste, share, and enjoy diversity at Goût de / Good France. Find your closest resto here.

To mark the occasion, French director Serge Moati has released a series of videos that pay tribute to some of France’s greatest chefs found here: A celebration of French cuisine at ‘Goût de France/Good France’.

Alain Ducasse (Copyright-Heikki-Verdurme)

Alain Ducasse (Copyright-Heikki-Verdurme)

Let Chef Alain Ducasse have the final word about the event: “Bringing together 1300 chefs from around the world to prepare a French dinner, on a purely voluntary basis, is a powerful symbol. It shows, firstly, that all these professionals know where the roots of their profession lie. They represent dozens of nationalities – 150 countries will be involved. Many were trained in France. Others were trained outside France by French chefs. But ultimately, they are all perfectly aware that French culinary expertise is the bedrock of their practice. The influence of French cuisine can therefore be seen, first and foremost, in this human chain of men and women whose professional roots extend far back into the great French culinary tradition; a brotherhood of professionals who know one another, and who share and uphold the same values worldwide.”

Story: Ken Pottinger

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