The recession has taken its toll on industries and individuals alike. And one industry that has taken a substantial blow is the restaurant industry. But, now, a new French concept may help change that.
I was sitting on the airplane yesterday morning perusing the in-flight magazine when I came across a very cool article that I wanted to share. The article was about France’s popular dining movement called Le Fooding and how it is just now reaching the United States.
What is Le Fooding?
Like the slow food movement that was all the rage a few years back, Le Fooding is a fairly new concept in Europe, but even newer to the US. Born nearly a decade ago in France, Le Fooding is the art of celebrating the restaurant experience. Think of it as an edgy mix of haute cuisine, trendy hippsters, nouveau art, and a lot of partying, all relished in a casual bistro chic setting.
Shh, It’s a Secret!
Le Fooding creators have tried to keep this concept somewhat exclusive, only letting a relatively small group of priviledged foodies and socialites in on the idea. Chefs hosting Le Fooding events have even gone as far as emailing a secret password that would allow the chosen ones special access to the event. So secretive!
Tradition v. Innovation
But, it really is no secret that the French love (and are maybe a little obsessed) with food. They also greatly respect and savor the art of preparing the food and the act of eating it. But they can also be a bit stuffy about their food, wanting to hold onto traditional preparations rather than thinking out of the (bread) box. So, it is no wonder that when some traditional chefs got whiff of the Le Fooding, they snubbed and even hated the concept.
Le Fooding Movement Heads to New York
Now, after 10 years of rising popularity in France, the concept of Le Fooding has expanded. Le Fooding now has its own guidebook, an alternative to the standard Michelin restaurant ratings, a system that many chefs feel do not accurately reflect a restaurant’s true potential. And, the concept of Le Fooding has been showcased in foodie events with some very high profile chefs at the helm – or should I say stove?
And, to top things off, the Le Fooding movement will finally arrive in New York this fall, taking the US by storm. On September 25th and 26th, Le Fooding d’Amour Paris-New York will debut at New York’s P.S.1 in Queens. The event will pair the talents of 6 American chefs with 6 chefs from France.
There’s no telling if the Le Fooding concept will catch on in New York or the US in general. But one thing is for sure, dining out has sure taken a hit during the recession. Maybe Le Fooding is just what the restaurant industry needs to breathe life back into its bruised soul.