Treasuring French cuisine

The World

Walking into this kitchen at this restaurant makes your mouth water. The chef’s three-star restaurant is one of the most popular in Paris. The cooking is based on simple ingredients and painstaking techniques. He says those are just some of the things that make French cooking worthy of UNESCO recognition. He says the French have complexity, variety, and the French are the only ones who regularly get together around the table. The chef’s idea to ask UNESCO for special status got support from French President Sarkozy who last spring proclaimed French cuisine the best in the world. Now there’s a senate study on how to make that case to UNESCO. Three years ago UNESCO turned down a similar request from Mexico and plenty of gourmets here think it should do the same to the French bid. This blogger about modern French cuisine says it’s exciting how French cuisine has evolved over the years. But she has trouble defining what would be protected because the cuisine is such an amalgamation of styles and inspirations. It’s that kind of evolution that this chef wants to protect against. He emphasizes traditional French cooking. He says too much borrowing and mixing would destroy French cooking. It’s not clear how a UNESCO designation would actually protect French cuisine.

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