French food fest wants to whet the world's appetite
Truffled frogs legs with spiced raisins, and apple and pear tart with prune and Armagnac ice cream... French chefs were setting out Wednesday to make mouths water in a global celebration of the country's cuisine.
Some 3,300 restaurants in more than 150 countries are taking part in the "Good France" festival, from small village cafes in rural Gascony to three-star Michelin chef Paul Pairet's hip "multi-sensory" dining club, Ultraviolet, in Shanghai.
Dinners are also being held in French embassies across the world as a part of the festival which was inspired by the legendary chef Auguste Escoffier's "Epicurian dinners" in 1912 when diners in the great global capitals sat down to the same menu.
The French menus will vary this time, however, with Good France's founder, superchef Alain Ducasse, saying Japanese chefs might be making boeuf bourguignon with local beef.
"It is about influence, about exporting French food culture," he told AFP.
"Even if the beef for the boeuf bourguignon in Japan is Japanese it would be better to drink a French wine with it," he joked.
Ducasse insisted that France was the "world leader in gastronomy and it should not be shouted down by countries who came late to the table but shout louder than us."
The festival is dedicated to the memory of Paul Bocuse, the "pope" French cuisine, who died in January aged 91.
This is the fourth year in which the dinners have been held, with French President Emmanuel Macron aiming to have 10,000 restaurants taking part by 2020.
© 2018 AFP