Thursday, April 14, 2016

Fes Festival of Culinary Diplomacy

Culinary diplomacy and Mediterranean Cultures at the service of Peace is the name of a culinary event intended to showcase the culinary art of Fez, Seville, Montpellier, Palermo, Istanbul and Beirut

Before the Fes Festival of Sacred Music and the Festival of Sufi Culture, Fez will have its culinary diplomacy Festival. The common point between these three events? Their founder, Faouzi Skali, the man behind the creation of the Fes Sacred Music and Sufi Festivals.

For its first edition, this new festival has opted for an ancient guideline and will relive the Mediterranean gastronomy as it was recorded by the Moroccan geographer Al Idrissi in the 12th century.

In the manuscript - considered the most accurate description at that time  - the author described the culinary peculiarities of each of the cities he visited. Among them, Fez, Seville, Montpellier, Palermo, Istanbul and Beirut. These seven cities will be at the heart of all the event activities: exhibitions cards, cooking workshops, conferences and evenings of tastings.

The French Institute in Fez is the festival partner of this event.

In parallel to the Fez Festival of Culinary Diplomacy will be three film screenings at the library of the French Institute of Fez.

Vatel - directed by Roland Joffé  will screen on Thursday, April 14, 6:30 p.m.

Vatel is a 2000 French-British historical-drama written by Jeanne Labrune and translated by Tom Stoppard, and starring Gérard Depardieu, Uma Thurman, Tim Roth, Timothy Spall, Julian Glover and Julian Sands. The film, based on the life of 17th-century French chef François Vatel, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Art Direction – Set Decoration. The film opened the 2000 Cannes Film Festival.

The Flavours of the Palace from director Christian Vincent will screen on Friday, April 15, 6:30 p.m.

Catherine Frot shines in Christian Vincent's film for foodies in which haute cuisine meets politics in Paris and spartan life in the wastes of Antarctica

Warning: this film should not be watched on an empty stomach. In this tale of the humouring of an ageing president's gastronomic whims, the spectator is regaled with a long succession of scenes in which recipes are discussed in loving detail and meals are prepared with the devotion of a sacrament. The film is light on plot, long on flavour and deliciously French.

The story is based on the real-life case of Danièle Delpeuch, a modest provincial chef and restaurant-owner who in the late 1980s was summoned by President François Mitterrand to be his personal cook at his official residence, the Elysée Palace. Danièle becomes Hortense (Catherine Frot) and Mitterrand becomes the President, played by the 87-year-old non-actor Jean d'Ormesson, better known as a writer and journalist (in the latter role he was for many years one of Mitterrand's fiercest adversaries, an irony older French filmgoers will savour). The President has developed a hankering for the traditional regional cuisine he knew in his youth and decided that Hortense is just the woman he needs to provide him with "the best of France."

A Matter of Taste directed by Bernard Rapp screens on Saturday, April 16, 6:30 p.m.

With Bernard Giraudeau, Jean-Pierre Lorit, Charles Berling

A Matter of Taste (French: ''Une affaire de goût'') is a 2000 film directed by Bernard Rapp. Rapp and Gilles Taurand wrote the screenplay which was based on the book "Affaires de goût" by Philippe Balland. The film received 5 César Award nominations, including the nomination for Best Film.

Frederic Delamont industrial atop its success, refined, original and phobic, meeting in a restaurant a young interim server, Nicolas Rivière. A few days later, it is received by Delamont who asked him to be, against a high salary, especially its taster. What starts as an unusual but lightweight professional relationship will be revealed soon be a much more dangerous game for both men.

Bon Appétit!

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