Almaty Food Festival Offers Taste of France

Almaty visitors and residents were able to sample some of the best of Frenchcuisine during the Sept. 26-28 Festival de la Gastronomie Francaise.

The festival was held in Almaty for the second time and took place in several restaurants, including Café de Paris, French Connection, Nova Vina La Cave, La Tartine, as well as on the city square next to the Palace of Republic. The festival offered top cheeses, confectionery and beverages like cider, calvados and sparkling wines from Norman producers.

The highlight of the event, which was supported by the French Consulate and Alliance Francaise Almaty, was a master class taught by five followers of 20th century masterAuguste Escoffier, who was known as “the king of chefs and the chef of kings.”

It is believed that Escoffier was the one who rationalised and modernised the culinary art, divided a kitchen staff into separate brigades and introduced the new “Russian” plate service method, according to which dishes are served due to a menu order. His book “Le Guide Culinaire” that first codified French cuisine is considered to be themust-have resource for understanding and preparing French cuisine.

Escoffier made culinary into an art. He believed that a plate is nothing less than a canvas to create a masterpiece. Thanks to his contribution, French cuisine was included on UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list in 2010. To mark that, the Festival de la Gastronomie Francaise was established and we are pleased to be this year in Kazakhstan. We hope our culinary experience will be useful for local chefs, as for us. We are going to try several traditional Kazakh dishes, especially besbarmak,” said one of the French chefs during the festival.

Unlike restaurants where the prices for a dinner were pretty high, French dishes offered on the city square were free to taste.

The Festival de la Gastronomie Francaise is an annual event held on Sept. 20-22 in France, as well as in other countries. It is a family, nationwide and international holiday that unites nations all over the world and allows cultural exchange. After last year’s success in Almaty, it was decided to carry out the French cuisine festival in the city one more time and let people discover more about French restaurant food.

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