NYC festival aims to show French food has bite

Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:13am EDT
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By Richard Leong

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Alexandre Cammas hopes that the 2,000 New Yorkers who will attend his two-day culinary festival will find that French food is fun and edgy.

Le Fooding D'Amour Paris-New York arrives in New York just as the recession has forced some of the city's venerable, high-end French restaurants, including the 92-year-old Cafe des Artistes, to close its doors.

Cammas believes their demise reflects the global trend toward more casual dining, even in France -- arguably the birthplace of serious high end cuisine.

"It's a representation of what's happening now," the 38-year-old food writer who co-founded Le Fooding, a loose combination of the words food and feeling, explained.

"The financial crisis accelerated the trend that began almost 10 years," he added.

In France, Le Fooding events are sprawling, urban picnics where people can sit on the ground and drink from paper cups, instead of at tables with starched linens and crystal glasses.

The U.S. debut of Le Fooding , which will raise funds to fight global hunger, takes place on Friday and Saturday at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center in the borough of Queens, across the East River from Manhattan.

The $60 tickets, which were sold on the web by leading consumers to one website to get a password to buy tickets on another site, are as much as six times cheaper than the glitzier food festivals.   Continued...

<p>Baguettes (French stick), bread made with organic flour, are displayed in a baker's oven at a bakery in Paris July 24, 2009. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier</p>