*Ambassador Christophe Farnaud with guests of honour Zola Nene and Wandile Mabaso. Photo credit: Nocebo Bocibo
The third annual Goût de France dinner event, hosted by the French Ambassador Christophe Farnaud, was held at the French Residence in Pretoria on 22 March 2017 in celebration of French gastronomy, and proved to be quite a success. The special guests of honour at this event were none other than celebrity Chef Zola Nene and Chef Wandile Mabaso.
*Tarte Tatin and Rooibos granite made by Danelle Naude of the Capital Hotel School. Photo Credit: French Embassy
Goût de France – Good France is all about healthy living, using local products and the sustainable use of natural resources. On 21 March 2017, over 2000 chefs from all over the world paid tribute to French cuisine and its emphasis on sharing, by preparing a special menu inspired by French traditions. Five restaurants in South Africa and Lesotho took part in this celebration of culture, namely: Café La Bonheur (Hartebeespoortdam), 6 Spin Street (Cape Town)Fusion Restaurant and Fusion French Café (Durban) and No. 7 Restaurant (Maseru).
The theme for this years’ event, at the French Embassy, was “Making French gastronomy accessible to all”, and showcased French cuisine at its finest. The Ambassador, Mr. Farnaud, said that the event was a brilliant opportunity for South Africans to experience French excellence in gastronomy: “I am delighted to share with our South African friends the French art de vivre and to showcase France as the original culinary destination. France is synonymous with gastronomy and excellence and with a touch of South Africans ingredients it is even better. In 2010, the Gastronomic meal of the French was awarded UNESCO ‘world intangible heritage’ status: more than the way of cooking, this is recognition of the shared meal amongst family and friends. We share with South Africans a common appreciation and enjoyment for good food, good wine and good living. This dinner is the opportunity to experience once more some of the many things that bring our people together.”
*Starter – Paternoster crayfish mille-feuille and crystallised vegetables with “sauce vierge”. Photo credit French Embassy
One of the guests of honour, the Sowetan born Chef Wandile Mabaso, was appointed as an Ambassador of French Gastronomy to South Africa by Chef Alain Ducasse and currently works at the prestigious Le Meurice, a two-Michelin-star restaurant in Paris. He surprised guests with an extravagant dessert showcase, specifically planned for the occasion.
The second guest of honour was renowned Chef, and food personality, Zola Nene who occupies the role of resident Chef on the Expresso Show on SABC 2. Zola has also recently published her new cookbook titled “Simply Delicious”: “It is such an honour to be part of Good France. For a classically trained chef like myself, French cuisine is the backbone of my culinary training. Often the idea of French food can be intimidating for young chefs, so I am thrilled to see a movement to try and make French cuisine more accessible,” she said after the dinner.
All in all, it was a great way to celebrate the art and elegance of French Cuisine.