Non-profit organisation, Alliance Française, breaks down The Art of French Dining with four programmes for the public ranging from films to champagne appreciation.
If there is any country that does fine dining well, from birthing the world-renowned Michelin guide to giving us dishes now staples in fine dining cuisines such as duck confit and foie gras, it has to be France. In homage to fine dining the French way, Alliance Française introduces the À Table series that runs from 7 April to 3 May.
1. LA TABLE DANS TOUS SES ÉTATS (THE TABLE IN ALL ITS STATES)
Together with Christofle, Baccarat, Bernardaud, and the Fond Gourmand (Gourmet Fund) at the Municipal Library of Dijon (France), the Alliance Française gallery will house three unique table settings showcasing iconic creations such as elegant glassware and immaculately designed crockery.
And on the surrounding walls, a collection of historical menus detailing the relationships between France and Southeast Asia. Did you know that the French president once offered state dinners to former President of the Republic of Singapore, Tony Tan Keng Yam, in 2015, and former Minister of State of the Republic of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, in 2001?
Under the careful teaching of Catherine Baron, founder of Le Savoir-Vivre: Academy of Etiquette and Modern Manners, workshop participants will learn table etiquette good enough for royalty.
And what would French cuisine be without wine? Workshops with ex-Raffles Hotel wine director, Stéphanie Rigourd, and champagne tasting workshops with Perrier-Jouët will complete the first steps to becoming a gourmand.
3. GASTRONOMIC FILMS
Like wine and cheese, food and film go perfectly together. From documentaries to family adventure films, Alliance Française has curated a delicious list of movies to keep viewers’ eyes and hearts satiated. Ex wine director, Rigourd, makes her directorial debut with There is No Accounting for Taste. The film speaks to hundreds of wine producers about the growing demand for organic, biodynamic, natural and sustainable wines.
There’s also Step Up to the Plate, an intimate documentary on the father-son relationship between Michel Bras, a three-Michelin-stars French chef, and his son, Sébastien Bras, as Michel hands his restaurant over to Sébastien.
4. A SPECIAL PATRON: GUILLAUME GOMEZ
Food is a powerful tool that evokes memories and brings people together, quite literally. Author and culinary celebrity, Guillaume Gomez, expounds from his book, À la table des présidents, on the practicality of gastrodiplomacy. He’ll give an inside scoop on what goes on in the kitchens of Elysée Palace in line with Alliance Française’s exhibition.
In a separate conference with Laurent Stefanini, Ambassador of France to Monaco and author of À la table des diplomates, both Gomez and Stefanini will be sharing the important role food plays in building bonds between countries.
For more information, visit alliancefrancaise.org.sg