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Goût de France

On March 19 Goût de France / Good France will celebrate French gastronomy around the world. A committee of international chefs, led by Alain Ducasse, will select the participating restaurants. Worldwide, over 1300 chefs on five continents are expected to join in. Dinners will be served simultaneously in restaurants honouring the merits of French cuisine, its capacity for innovation and its values: sharing, enjoying and respecting the principles of high-quality, environmentally responsible cuisine. According to Alain Ducasse, ‘French cuisine has this power to enhance imagination and to bring happiness in a potentially difficult context’. Let’s see!

By |January 25th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Pen leading the people

On Sunday 11 January, French citizens were joined by world leaders in a solidarity march paying tribute to victims of Islamist militant attacks in France. One photo taken by Reuters photographer Stephane Mahé quickly became a powerful and symbolic image, circulating widely in France and drawing interest from local newspapers, radio and television programmes. Today, this picture will be displayed on the front wall of Centre Pompidou to remind people of the spirit of fraternity that has recently emerged. The picture is called “Pen leading the people” as a reference to the famous painting of Eugene Delacroix: Liberty leading the people, in 1830.

By |January 17th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Miss France 2015

This weekend saw the final of the competition for Miss France. The winner is Camille Cerf, 19 years old already Miss Nord Pas-de-Calais. This is the first time that Miss Nord Pas-de-Calais has won the beauty pageant since it was created in 1920.

Camille is a student at EGC business School in Lille. She would like to become a communications officer, to promote crafts of French regions nationally and internationally. She is also interested in helping cancer research as her father died from it.

By |December 7th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

L e Beaujolais Nouveau

On the third Thursday of November, French people celebrate Le Beaujolais Nouveau. This is a wine released just weeks after the grapes have been harvested. Parties are held throughout the country and further afield to celebrate the first wine of the season.

Made entirely from the thin-skinned Gamay grape from two appellations south of France’s Burgundy region, the year’s youngest wines are made via carbonic maceration. Whole grapes are tossed into a tank and the process starts right there, each grape fermenting in its own skin.

Because the grapes aren’t crushed, tannins are minimized and fruit flavours maximized, the upshot being a light-bodied, fresh and fruity wine with flavours often described as strawberry, bubble-gum, kirsch and banana. This year the Beaujolais Nouveau features rich black raspberry fruit with a peppery edge and a little licorice sass.

Santé!

By |November 23rd, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

A taste of France

Do you know the famous Tarte Tatin? The first Tarte Tatin was served in 1898. The two sisters who created this first upside down apple pie the Tarte Tatin were Stéphanie Tatin (1838-1917) and Caroline Tatin (1847-1911). According to tradition it was Stéphanie Tatin who accidentally placed her apple tart in the oven upside down. Despite that seeming unsolvable problem, Stéphanie Tatin, like any great chef when faced with disaster, knew the show must go on. Stéphanie carried on and served the pie as a new creation. The guests loved the new recipe and Stéphanie Tatin had found a place for herself and her sister, and the Tarte Tatin, in the history of French cuisine. The original recipe is protected by its own brotherhood and sisterhood: La Confrérie de Lichonneux de Tarte Tatin.

However you can still try this recipe. Bon appetit!

Ingrédients:

  • 250 g butter enriched puff pastry
  • 5 British Braeburn apples, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 165 g Fairtrade granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 0.5 tsp Madagascan vanilla extract
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • A little plain flour for dusting
 Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and cut out a 28cm circle. Place in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes

In a bowl, toss the apple quarters with 55g of the sugar, the lemon juice and the vanilla extract. Set aside.

In a 24cm ovenproof frying pan, melt the butter over a medium heat and add the remaining sugar. Turn down to a gentle heat and leave, without stirring, for 4-5 minutes, until the mixture turns a golden caramel colour – don’t worry if it looks as if it has separated, as this is normal. Remove from the heat.

Arrange the apples on top of the caramel, rounded side down, in a circular pattern. Cover with the pastry circle, tucking the edges inside the pan around the apples. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes, until puffed and golden.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Invert a plate over the pan and turn over. Serve warm.

Cook’s tip: when rolling out pastry, roll from the middle upwards then the middle downwards before turning 90 degrees and repeating. This helps the pastry roll evenly.

 

By |November 9th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Fondation Louis Vuitton

The Fondation Louis Vuitton has just opened its doors. This extraordinary space for art and culture was conceived by architect Frank Gehry as a vessel whose sails soar amidst the trees of the Bois de Boulogne.  The foundation aims to “promote and support contemporary and artistic creation” in France.

At the heart of each spaces, the public will be invited to discover the permanent collection of works belonging to the Fondation or the Arnault collection, as well as temporary exhibitions – two a year – and musical events in the auditorium.

LVMH will give the museum and its contents to the city of Paris in 55 years.

For more information visit http://www.fondationlouisvuitton.fr/en.html.

 

By |October 25th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Discover French artists

Singer Arthur H is the son of Jacques Higelin, famous singer in the 70s and 80s. Arthur started his career in the 90s and immediately got recognition. His raucous voice and his style jazz-electro-rock is unique. This week his latest album has just been released. Called “Soleil dedans” – meaning “Sun inside” – it’s full of fantasy and poetry. Composed and recorded in Canada this album sounds like an invitation to travel. The video clips are beautifully refreshing – just prefect if you are already nostalgic about your latest holidays.

By |September 27th, 2014|Uncategorized, Video|0 Comments

Discover French artists

Do you know the group called Feu Chatterton? They chose their name from a painting by a 19th century British artist, Henry Wallis. The painting is called “The death of Chatterton”. So why are they called “Feu” Chatterton”? Because in French, ” feu” doesn’t only mean “fire” it can also be an adjective which means “dead”.

By |September 13th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Famous places: Lille

Just an hour outside of Paris by TGV, the town of Lille is home to one of the most anticipated events in France: the annual two-day Braderie de Lille flea market. As the largest flea market in all of Europe, this vibrant event dates back to medieval times and now attracts almost two million visitors each September.  The “Braderie” (French for “sell at a low price”) flea market offers over 10,000 exhibitors hawking their wares with everything from knick-knacks to treasures.

By |September 7th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Why learn French (7)

We all have a good reason for studying French: a job opportunity? a career path? Or maybe a romantic date or simply just to please ourselves with no ulterior motives.

Find each week a new good reason to learn the French language.

A language that opens up the world

After English and German, French is the third most used language on the Internet, ahead of Spanish. An ability to understand French offers an alternative view of the world through communication with French speakers from all the continents and news from the leading French-language international media (TV5, France 24 and Radio France Internationale).

By |June 15th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments