Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Make a date with French Cuisine today! Celebrating Goût de France/ Good France 2017 in India

The consul, Yves Perin with participating Chefs. 
Last week I had the good fortune of attending a very exciting ‘pot luck’ hosted at the residence of the French Consul in Bombay. The consul, Yves Perin and his wife Caroline played gracious hosts to what was formally called a reception, but for me it was the ultimate potluck! Now a general potluck is one where friends or family get together for a meal, carrying a dish each. But it was taken to a whole new level here because Chefs from fabulous restaurants all over Mumbai were cooking up a French dish each to kick off Goût de France or Good France celebrations in India. Now imagine that. To be able to have so many stellar chefs showcasing their best all at one meal!

My beautiful plate!
The 'Pot Luck' featured dishes by Artisan (BKC), Chef Ashish Bhasin of Botticino (Trident BKC),  The Chambers (Taj Mahal Palace, Apollo Bunder),  The Clearing House, (Ballard Estate), Fenix (Oberoi),  Olio (Novotel), Olive Bar and Kitchen, Ratatouille Diaries (Khushi, Indo)re, Rivea (Santacruz), Chef Irfan of The Sassy Spoon (Nariman Point),  Upper Crust Lounge (ITC Maratha), Vista (Bandra) and Indigo (Colaba). On the menu were Croque-Monsieur, absolutely delectable Toasts à la tapenade, Cherry tomatoes and mozzarella with lovely wines to wash it all down with as we met and talked. After a little toast to the chefs by the Consul, it was time to dig in! The table was overflowing with beautiful food, each dish equally fabulous! A lovely salad of a Goat cheese Brulee, caramelised figs and Berry coulis, Confit grapes, Crostini and Mesclun, Pain de courgettes, Salade de Roquette, Chicken fricassee, Tenderloin Riviera to die for, Navarin d’agneau, Rizotto aux poivrons. We had to remind ourselves to leave space for dessert, because we knew they were also fantastic. And soon we were savouring Profiteroles with salted caramel and chocolate mousse, a meltingly delicious Savarin aux fruits, tarte aux fraises (Strawberry tarts) and a fantastic Mousse au chocolat. Every dish was fantastic! I truly felt gratified to have been able to partake of it.

With fellow food writer and blogger friends.  

And 3 years ago the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development under the aegis of celebrated chef Alain Ducasse fashioned Goût de France or Good France, a global fête commemorating French food on 21st March every year to further strengthen the ethos of French cuisine and expand its popularity. For any of us in the food business, we have a deep and intrinsic connect to French cuisine. One of the few earliest cuisines to be codified (in the 20th century by Escoffier) French Cuisine has had an impact on cuisines and dining cultures the world over. It is also one of the most highly esteemed cuisines in the world, one that is celebrated the world over in restaurants of all sizes and one whose protocols are the backbone of culinary school curriculums the world over.

For Goût de France 2017 the celebrations have more than 2000 chefs participating globally and one of the most enthusiastic participating countries is India with 65 reputed chefs showcasing special French menus to mark the day. Reservations are already underway and one can book a dinner for the said date on Zomato or find more information on http://bit.ly/1Efqwv9. And to add to the excitement of Gout de France, the French Embassy in India in collaboration with Atout France, Air France and Relais & Châteaux are holding a selfie contest!  One lucky food lover who posts a selfie to his/her social media handles with his Gout de France menu and #GoodFrance stands to win a marvellous trip to the French Riviera. So let’s all get together to celebrate French cuisine today on Good France Day!

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