Several top French chefs gathered on September 19 at the People’s Garden located at the residence of the U.S. Ambassador to France. In a friendly atmosphere, the chefs prepared dishes using fruits and vegetables from the garden, as well as U.S. cranberries and seafood (crab, salmon) from Alaska. The event guests featured writers from France’s food, lifestyle and gardening media, in addition to buyers from local restaurants, hotels and catering companies. Guests had an opportunity to taste traditional U.S. products and recipes reinterpreted by starred French chefs.
Featured top chefs and their dishes included:
Chef Olivier Bellin (Auberge des Glazick in Brittany) prepared chicken Paninis, cauliflower soup with fried prawns and a creamy rice with crunchy zucchinis;
Chef Lionel Levy (Une Table au Sud in Marseille) made a fig Carpaccio with sangria, a U.S. style hamburger with Pistou and Tapenade and a milk-shake of fish soup;
Chef Philippe Bohrer (le Crocodile in Strasburg) prepared a lettuce soup with pumpkin and pepperoni vinegar, a yellow pepperoni and peach smoothie and pancakes with bacon;
Chef Eric Salmon (Brasserie Flottes in Paris) prepared a thin tomato pie with oregano as well as some truffle toasted sandwich with salads;
Chef Yves Roquel (from the U.S. Ambassador’s residence) chose tomato smoothies, tomato cup cakes, as well as Alaskan salmon bagels, Caesar wraps and avocado and Alaskan crab cones; and
Chef Eric Barnerias (Hotel Scribe in Paris) made traditional U.S. desserts such as cheesecakes with peanut butter and macadamia and U.S. pecans, peanut cakes with cranberry sauce and white chocolate cookies.
In his opening remarks, U.S. Ambassador to France Charles H. Rivkin insisted that both gardening and gastronomy help to gather people and reinforce friendship between countries. This event accomplished just that and also helped popularize U.S. recipes and products to French cooking styles.
The U.S. Embassy Paris People’s Garden served as an ideal scene setter for an American style garden party with a French flair. It also helped support the embassy’s nutrition outreach efforts, including Let’s Move!, a comprehensive initiative launched by First Lady Michelle Obama.
Created in 2010 under the auspice of USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Paris with the help of the Ecole Du Breuil, the horticultural and gardening high school of the City of Paris, the U.S. Embassy Paris People’s Garden already has produced several pounds of tomatoes, zucchinis, beans, numerous squashes, artichokes, strawberries, rhubarbs, pepperonis, in addition to herbs such as basil, persil, oregano and mint. The products are used during official receptions, lunches, and dinners. Several huge pumpkins are now maturing to be picked before Halloween. A winter garden with winter crops such as cabbages, leeks, beets and salads will be planted in the fall.