48 Indian Restaurants, Fourth Highest in the World, Make the Grade for Global Celebration of French Gastronomy
TEN Delhi-NCR restaurants figure among the 48 from India selected by an international panel of master chefs to participate in a worldwide celebration of French gastronomy on March 19, 2015. India ranks No. 4 after Italy (96), Japan (61) and Brazil (55), just ahead of the United States (46), in terms of the number of restaurants participating in this first-of-its-kind global feast.
The initiative, unveiled in Paris by the French Prime Minister Laurent Fabius and Alain Ducasse, the chef with the most Michelin stars in the world, on January 21, has been christened Goût de France, or Good France. It aims to celebrate French gastronomy worldwide, with 1,300 chefs serving a ‘French-style dinner’, on March 19 in five continents.
The participating restaurants from Delhi-NCR are Amaranta (The Oberoi Gurgaon), Cilantro (Trident Gurgaon), Le Bistro Du Parc, Olive Bar & Kitchen, Rara Avis, The Grill Room (The Lalit), The Leela Palace New Delhi, threesixtydegrees (The Oberoi New Delhi), Tres and West View.
They made the final cut after the international committee of master chefs reviewed the menus submitted by competing restaurants. The menus are required to be representative of French gastronomy and must have:
- A French traditional aperitif (champagne and gougeres – the French savoury choux pastry, stuffed or not – or iced cognac and foie gras)
- A cold appetiser and a hot appetiser
- A fish or shell fish course and one meat or poultry course
- Vegetables to represent the values of healthy eating and environmental responsibility
- One or a selection of French cheeses
- One chocolate dessert
- French wines and one French liqueur
The restaurants shortlisted across other cities include Frangipani (The Oberoi Mumbai), La Maison Rose (Pondicherry), Le Cirque Signature (The Leela Palace Bangalore), Le Poisson Rouge (Arpora, Goa), Mango Hill (Pondicherry), Ottimo (Bangalore), The Flying Elephant (Park Hyatt, Chennai), The Sassy Spoon (Mumbai), The Zodiac Grill (The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai) and Vetro (The Oberoi Mumbai).
The inspiration for this worldwide effort is Auguste Escoffier’s ‘Epicurean Diners’ in 1912, based on the philosophy of ‘one day, one menu, served in cities around the world’. The media release announcing the initiative says: “Goût de France/Good France takes the idea further, bringing all categories of restaurants together, worldwide.” It is also, in the words of the media release, the “first concrete demonstration” of French cuisine being listed by UNESCO as an ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’.
The media release also points out that each participating restaurant has committed itself to donating 5 per cent of the profits earned from the event “to a local NGO working in the health and environment sectors”. This promises to be the biggest celebration of gastronomy for the common good that the world has ever seen. Let’s say santé to that.