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French culinary event offers a taste of Parisien life in Beijing


03-23-2017 08:42 BJT

(Source: CGTN)

Beijing's top French restaurants are putting on a special menu this month. It's all part of 'Goût de France' - or 'Good France' - and our lucky reporter Shen Li got to taste it herself at the third edition of the French gastronomy event.

Bon Apetit! The best of French cuisine has come to the Chinese capital. Here at the French Embassy, chefs from leading hotels presented mouthwatering dishes to raise the curtain on 'Gout de France'.

Launched in 2015 by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and celebrated French chef Alain Ducasse, 'Gout de France' embraces the nation's culinary traditions and aims to show that French cuisine caters to every budget.

And the theme for this year: Paris Cabaret!

"We want to bring Paris to the Chinese friends, literally, the city and its ambience, not just what they already know but also something else that will lure them, make them want to explore more for themselves in France. So we've constructed a square and around it there are all kinds of shops that are essential to the Parisien life, such as the bakery, the cheese shop and so on. Through this event we want to show that French cuisine is accessible to all. Of course you can dine at a fancy restaurent, or simply enjoy a brunch at a cafe restaurant if you have a limited budget," French Ambassador to China Maurice Gourdault-Montagne said.

"This year's theme is Paris Cabaret, a vast contrast to last year's country theme, with all the farm produce. This time around it's all about noble creations, of the best quality. We have chefs coming from all around France taking the diners on an unforgettable culinary journey," Thomas Ciret, chef De Cuisine of French Ebassay in Beijing, said.

At this mini Parisien arrondissment, you can browse throught the gourmet shops, have your portrait drawn by a street artist, or enjoy performances from the musician with her accordion, just like you would in Monmartre district in Paris.

Talking about cuisine-French cuisine-is also talking about joie de vivre or joy of life, delicacy, optimism and pleasure-ideas that are all crucial to the image of France.

Organizers say Gout de France not only embraces the heartiness associated with the pleasures of eating, but celebrates the way food has become the symbol of France's positive values and conviviality.

That means healthy dishes prepared from fresh, seasonal and local produce, with low fat, salt and sugar content.

"This is a nice way of reaching out to people's hearts through their stomachs. There's no better thing in the world than having your friends and family sitting around the table and enjoying a delicious meal. It's my third visit to Beijing and first time participating in the event. I really like traveling around the world. It allows you to discover unknown ingredients and add new flavor to the table. I think cooking transcends the language barrier and brings people closer," Michelin-starred chef Jean-Pierre Jacob said.

A total of 18 cities in China will participate in the event, including Shanghai, Wuhan and Guangzhou, joining more than a thousand French chefs across five continents.

The French embassy in Beijing hope the event will encourage Chinese diners and chefs to explore their concepts of French cuisine.

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