French Ambassador celebrates Good France with Chef Akrame
This year’s Good France dinner was dished up by none other than famous Michelin-starred French Chef Akrame Benallal.
Tuesday, 21st March 2017, saw the third annual edition of the international culinary event celebrating French gastronomy, “Goût de/Good France”. In India, 66 restaurants – including 14 from Delhi – took part in Good France, ranking it a global third in terms of the number of participating restaurants. This figure has been increasing steadily in India every year.
The complete list of restaurants who participated is available on http://www.ambafrance-in.org/Gout-de-France-Good-France-2017. This year, foodies could also book a table on the Zomato website and take part in a contest to win a trip for two to France. For contest details: http://in.france.fr/en/eventstriptofrance.
On the occasion of this event, the Ambassador of France to India, H.E. Mr Alexandre Ziegler, hosted a special dinner at the Residence of France on Tuesday, 21st March 2017.
This year’s Good France dinner was dished up by none other than famous Michelin-starred French Chef Akrame Benallal, who is known for his flair for blending the unexpected with the traditional, and ever renewing his “collections” of dishes, instead of maintaining signature courses.
On the eve of this event, Chef Akrame also held a masterclass for chefs of Delhi restaurants participating in Good France. In the spirit of Indo-French cultural cooperation, he also conducted a gastronomy workshop for French business school Vatel’s hospitality programme in India at Ansal University.
On this occasion, Ambassador Ziegler said: “Goût de France celebrates the vitality of French cuisine. Through this festive moment, it creates a dialogue between cultures by offering the common language of a shared French meal. We are proud that India ranks third internationally in terms of participating restaurants, reflecting the Indian public’s growing interest in discovering new flavours, especially the subtle and innovative palette of French gastronomy. Goût de France will highlight the French “art de vivre” and thus contribute, I hope, to attract a greater number of Indian visitors to France.”
Chef Akrame opened a restaurant in Tours at the age of 25, after training with Michelin-starred chefs, and invented his own way of cooking. He reinterprets the codes of contemporary French cuisine and highlights the products he uses as a tribute to the environment they belong to. In 2011, he opened his eponymous restaurant in Paris, which was soon awarded a Michelin star. He later opened a second gastronomic restaurant in Hong Kong as well as several other restaurants in Paris.
2 000 chefs, 2 000 menus, 71 culinary schools and 150 embassies over 5 continents
Following the success of the 2016 edition, which witnessed the participation of 1750 chefs in 150 countries, the 2017 edition of Good France was launched by Jean-Marc Ayrault, French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, and Chef Alain Ducasse, on 7th March 2017 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris.
Thus, over five continents, 2 000+ restaurants, 71 culinary schools, and 150 embassies of France abroad will be mobilized on 21st March 2017. All kinds of eateries are involved, from haute cuisine restaurants to quality bistros.
The aim of Goût de / Good France is to highlight art de vivre à la française and French regional produce. Indeed, gastronomy is one of the cornerstones of French heritage, and the unique nature of France’s products and wines reflect the diversity of its landscapes and typical regional products. The savoir-faire of French chefs and French art de vivre continue to attract greater number of tourists and travellers from all over the world.
With close to 83 million tourists in 2016 – including half a million from India – France is the top global tourist destination. Of these, one-third declare that their travel to France was spurred by French cuisine, especially “the gastronomic meal of the French”, which has been inscribed in the UNESCO list of intangible heritage.
Apart from food- and wine-loving tourists, foreign chefs and students, too, come to France to train in the culinary arts taught in prestigious French gastronomy and hospitality management schools.
By bringing together 2 000 chefs, 150 embassies of France and around 250 000 persons worldwide, Goût de/Good France celebrates cuisine and the art of living à la française. It also reminds us that French cuisine continues to be enriched thanks to spreading knowledge of French culinary arts on the one hand, and the influence of the chefs in various countries who interpret it according to their vision, on the other.