Delicious treats await you as hotels and restaurants come together to celebrate Goût de France
We are proud of our gastronomy,” says French consul general Francois Gautier, and he doesn’t need to elaborate. Their gastronomy (food and wine) forms an integral part of their culture. So much so that UNESCO has tagged it on the list of the world’s ‘intangible cultural’ heritage treasures. Every classic multi-course French meal must feature an apéritif, a cold entrée, a hot entrée, shellfish, fish, poultry or meat, French cheeses, a chocolate dessert and a selection of French wines. Last year, France received 80 million tourists — one-and-a-half times its own population, he adds, many of them self-confessedly drawn by France’s legendary food and wines.
The concept developed a year ago when the French government decided to adopt legendary French chef Auguste Escoffier’s 1912 concept of Dîners d’Épicure, where the same French menu features at different restaurants in different cities around the world on the same day – and to tweak it somewhat. On March 21, the first official day of spring in France, the world will celebrate Goût de France day with each country producing its own take on traditional and modern French cuisine. India joins the party yet again with 52 restaurants selected for participation by a jury headed by legendary Michelin star chef Alain Ducasse. Ducasse has said, “The chefs represent dozens of nationalities, across 150 countries Many were trained in France. Others were trained outside France by French chefs. But ultimately, they are all aware that French culinary expertise is the bedrock of their practice.”
In Bengaluru, eight restaurants will go French on the day, giving food lovers a chance to dine out on six course menus a laFrance with wine, cheese and chocolate priced from `1,800 to `3,500. Chef Amit Wadhawan (The Oberoi)is giving his French menu an Indian heart: desi ingredients coming together to create French magic. His menu features a classic filet de boeuf ‘Rossini’, braised oxtail stew, roasted garlic puree, pan juspaired with wine. Chef Kunal Kumar of Novotel Bengaluru Techpark is going all French with his wine selection, and among his headlining dishes is home-cured barramundi, kasundi mustard cream, vodka, aromatised vegetable with a Chablis. Chef Suvaranjan Banerjee of The Lalit Ashok keeps his cheese course classically French. His menu features duck confit, red onion marmalade, mandarine emulsion, sweet tamarind compote paired with St-Cosme Côtes du Rhône. Café Noir’s French chef is teaming his traditional veal blanquette and cappuccino of blue crab and lobster with lemongrass foam with French wine and an ooh la la dessert: chocolate mousse, praline creme facon‘Rocher’. Other participants include Shangri-La’s B Café and Caprese, Ottimo at ITC Gardenia and Sunny, each concocting their own delicious menu.
So what will you eat? The choice is tres difficile, mes amis. A lure is the “cherry on the cake,” says Gautier; one lucky diner will be chosen to experience a dream holiday in France — including Paris and Champagne. Want to #betheredothat too? Check outfacebook.com/france.bangalore for details on menus and pricing.