Home Chennai A Tour of France

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    What better way to celebrate French culture than this two-day showcase by IFCCI

    Turns out you don’t have to book a flight ticket to shop at France. The first edition of the much awaited French Market is set to hit the city this weekend — promising everything from that perfect croissant to caftans all the way from a Parisian embroidery house. If that doesn’t get you excited, picture this — flowy Arabian-style tents for stalls, a trampoline just for kicks and to set the mood, soulful notes from a trio of musicians led by master violinist David Wacheux.

    Bazaar look
    Put together by the Indo-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IFCCI) over the last two months, the event (to be inaugurated by  Jean-Marc Fenet, Minister Counselor of the Regional Economic Service—Embassy of France in India) promises a taste of all things French, starting from art and decor to adventure sports, language, tourism and gastronomy. So expect brands as diverse as Renault, Saint Gobain, Decathlon, Air Austral and of course, the Alliance Française of Madras. Merlin Simon, Regional Director of the Southern Chapter, IFCCI tells us, “The idea is to showcase the creativity and flavours of France in an accessible and friendly environment.”  To do this, she adds, “We’ve tried to recreate the scene at a market in Paris. So instead of basic stalls with one entrance, we have set up beautifully draped tents, open on all sides. Also, much of the cheese and chocolate sourced from Chennai and Puducherry will be available for tasting.”

    Sugar rush
    If you have a sweet tooth, don’t miss out on Nitin Chordia’s exclusive range of limited edition chocolates inspired by his travels around France. Chordia, who is India’s first certified chocolate taster collaborated with Valrhona, a premium chocolate manufacturer in Lyon and even went so far as to visit their factory before he set out on this experiment from his kitchen on Greams Road! “Instead of add-ons like nuts or fillings, I’m focusing on flavours that are actually inspired from the cocoa bean like raspberry, lemon and coffee,” he surprises us, adding, “Did you know that cacao (the fruit from which chocolate is made) has more flavour notes than wine?”
    Other highlights of the two-day market include a ‘sari reinvented’ by designer Fernand Ratier from Paris, art pieces from Puducherry-based painter Jacques Beaumelle and home decor from L’Atelier Design.
    June 18-19 at Phoenix MarketCity. Details: ifcci.org; 42178710

    — Sonali Shenoy

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