Last November, proof food Unveiling his long-awaited roster for 2023. We find out. A Taste of Return “of the cuisine of our country’s ancestors, revisited with talent by farm restaurants established in Manche or in Birch. While waiting to devour this guide with an appetite, we asked Christine Doubleh who oversees the food with passion.
Who are the winners this year? Is Paris the food capital?
Christine Doubleh: There are not many Parisians, like last year which was also a special exit list for the Covid-19 virus: there were only two out of ten winners in the capital, and this year, out of fifteen titles, only four are in Paris. What is important to make clear when talking about food awards is that they do not tick boxes, with no obligation on the chefs. The list of awards is made with them. However, one of the main trends we notice – and that relates to the best award-winning table – is the departure from Paris of three chefs – the stars of bistronomie – who have settled in different corners of France: James Edouard Henry and Sean Kelly with Le. Restaurant Doyenne in Saint-Vrain, Edward Delling-Williams with The the church in La Manche, and finally Sven and Marianne Chartier which opened at the end of October” Flying bird in Birch. And these three addresses are not the same at all but they do create new ecosystems around them.
How do we define this new “new rustic” trend?
CDs: For these three chefs, these are projects that connect the personal with the professional because they are family projects. For example, in Flying bird Sven works with his wife Marianne and brother Nils who take care of the cellar, wine and service. Edward for his part moved with his whole family but also the whole team to the canal. They’re also opening a brewery and a waterfront cottage, they’re also building their own vegetable garden… In short, they’re investing in the local community that they’re revitalizing by creating separate venues. For James and Sean, their venture began five years ago with the purchase of a property they renovated during the Covid years. It is also almost self-sufficient in the production of vegetables and fruits but also of meat, with the raising of pigs and poultry. They also deliver their products to many restaurants in Paris.
Can we say that Fooding has helped break the rules of academic cuisine and really made it possible to talk about biology?
CDs: Among the other twelve titles selected, you will have very different concepts. Whether it is street food in Perpignan, small neighborhood addresses in Marseille or the more refined on the seafront in Brittany, the list of prizes is very diverse. This does not reflect a lack of evidence but rather our desire to highlight and accompany what seems to embody the taste of the time. Our articles and awards support any approach that might sound good or interesting. We talk about what’s going on in the kitchen today. We are open to everything, like new things that we didn’t even know about.
How does the Fooding Directory organization work?
CDs: We have an editorial staff of in-house journalists, but we also have 60 columnists who tour France year-round for proof. The way it works is you retest all the titles that were in the previous year’s paper directory. The publication publishes only novelties or new arrivals, but on the site there is the completeness of our addresses: restaurants, bars, rooms, shops and cellars. Finally, we experience new things. For example, out of 1,500 titles in all categories, 30% are new and 25% will not be renewed from one year to the next, for many reasons such as titles closing, chefs leaving, or a less convincing experience than the previous year. The Directory is a very large project that takes us nine months out of the year.
What do your columnists have in common?
CDs: The common denominator among different profiles such as retired doctors, visual arts teachers or journalism students is their love of food and gastronomy. We’re also talking about historical records and not food critics because the only criterion for inclusion of a title in the guide is wanting back: that’s our guiding principle. Their records should be able to speak volumes about what we ate, and the food and drinks menu in pen can be very accurate, but they don’t issue negative opinions. Otherwise, it means that it should not be kept in the directory. And it’s true that in theory we think you don’t have to be a pro for that, but you do have to be a fanatic.
There was an article about ten years ago in the New Yorker that said food was as much to gastronomy as the New Wave was to cinema. What is clear is that art, film and music are all inspirations for food.
If you had to summarize your guidelines?
CDs: The DNA of food, when we talk about criticism or judgment, is the concept of pleasure that must not be lost sight of when you go to a restaurant, but also the investment of the people who receive you there: no matter that he or she is invested in making you a smashburger or a tasting menu of eight steps. The award list should reflect a focus of all this with a general recommendation by several columnists but also by people from the editorial staff: we will then test them to confirm this impression.
How to renew yourself and avoid living on your achievements?
CDs: In our projects during the year we have recently launched our new website with more interactive content, but also since September a paid newsletter “Saucisse” which is aimed at a very loyal community looking for maximum content such as recipes or mini travel guides … Then we organize events throughout the year which can sometimes accommodate up to 600 people. We also opened our first podcast in the form of episodes recorded live during the event, sponsored by San Pellegrino, our partner for over 20 years. The last episode was curated by Veuve Clicquot, with whom we work on issues for the advancement of women in gastronomy. We have partnered with them for 3 years by producing a series called ‘chef de bande’ which tells the story of everyone who works in the kitchen, such as chefs, but also sommeliers, mixologists, cookbook publishers, or journalists.
What is the economic model for food?
CDs: We operate as an agency, producing both our own content as well as content and events for the brands we have to partner with. For example, the “Squad Leader” project was close to our hearts. We must create honest, honest and independent content to ensure it is of good quality and interesting to our readers while meeting the needs of brands.
With Fooding, can we talk about a culinary trend similar to the great artistic trends of the turn of the century?
CDs: There was an article about ten years ago in the New Yorker that said food was as much to gastronomy as the New Wave was to cinema. What is clear is that art, film and music are all inspirations for food. Starting with the cover of our guide designed by a young illustrator named Maïté Grandjouan, but also dozens of artists to illustrate the award list.
The Fooding Guide is available everywhere in France on newsstands and bookstores directly in their shop and at Super Marche Fooding (30, rue de Vertbois Paris 3e) November 24-27 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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