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Conference@934: French Gastronomy

A conversation featuring:

- Adam Gopnik, American writer, essayist, editor at The New Yorker and author of The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food (2011)

- Layla Demay, French writer, journalist, and author of Les Pintades passent à la casserole (2010)

 

Monday, December 12, 2011 at 6:30 pm
Consulate General of France

934 Fifth Avenue, NY 10021
(btw. 74th and 75th Streets)

Fooding, world food, slow food, fusion food, street food… New “gastronomical trends” keep spreading in recent years, reshaping traditional gastronomy as we know it. In such a context, inscribing the “French gastronomic meal” – with its rituals and presentation proper to the French tradition meal – on the prestigious UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2010, contradicts yet another vision of Cuisine, a more free one, willing to mix cultures and flavors, and which enjoys the recognition of gastronomical critiques through the success of certain restaurants, from Barcelona to New York. We may thus ask ourselves the following: is the art of well-dining and well-drinking, which has constituted the fame and image of French Gastronomy, still a criteria for cultural excellence? Or should the Art of Gastronomy concede to abandoning its roots in order to be able to better renew itself?

Listen to the conference

Extract of the conference

The speakers

- Adam Gopnik, “possibly America’s most devoted public Francophile” according to The New York Times, is an American journalist and writer. He has been writing for The New Yorker since 1986.

In 1995, Gopnik moved to Paris. While living in the French capital, he wrote several essays about Paris and the French culture. A collection of these essays, Paris to the Moon appeared in 2000. He also published an adventure novel, The King in the Window and has edited the anthology American in Paris for the Library of America. Adam Gopnik has always been interested in French literature and as such, he has written introductions to new editions of Maupassant, Balzac and Proust.

He has won various awards, as the National Magazine Award for Essays and for Criticism – which he received three times, – or the George Polk Award for Magazine Reporting.

Earlier this year, Adam Gopnik published a new book, The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food, in which he celebrates the typical French dinner and its history.

- Layla Demay is a French journalist, author and documentary film director. She is the co-founder and co-author with Laure Watrin of the books series Les Pintades. In 2010, she penned the book Les Pintades passent a la casserole (Calmann-Levy Publisher), a "cook book with a flair" that explores the cultural and culinary differences (and acquaintances) between Paris and New York.

She started her career in France as a journalist and producer for CAPA French TV Press Agency, before joining the TF1 newsroom. In 1997, she moved to New York, where she became a correspondent for various French media outlets, including flagship news program Envoyé Spécial on French Channel France 2. From 1997 to 2002, she covered current affairs with in-depth stories on topics ranging from Women in the Ku Klux Klan, Teen Pregnancy, Fundamentalist Mormon polygamist sects in Utah, Amish sects in Pennsylvania.

In 2000, she was a guest speaker at the Shadow Convention in Philadelphia, where her documentary War Zone was featured. She is a guest contributor for French and European TV channels.

Speech by Mr Philippe Lalliot, Consul General of France in New York

Everything you need to know about French food diversity and culinary heritage is on www.FrenchFoodintheUS.org

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