The French Embassy in Nigeria, on Thursday night, hosted the biggest French dinner for 100 people to commemorate the Goût de France /Good France in Nigeria.
The French Ambassador to Nigeria, Jérôme Pasquier, in his address at the event in Abuja, said that the dinner was organised to promote French gastronomy.
Gastronomy deals with the study of the relationship between food and culture, the art of preparing and serving rich or delicate and appetising food.
It also deals with the cooking styles of particular regions, and the science of good eating.
He said that the dinner was part of activities to celebrate the 2019 International Francophone Week on the theme: “French Language, Connecting for [email protected] from March 18 to 23.”
“`We are hosting the big dinner for 100 people selected from those who answered questions on the internet.
`The idea is to promote French gastronomy; it is unique for those in Abuja and also good for us to have this type of event designed for meeting people.
“We are celebrating from Provence, Southern France, which is a much known region and I hope this region will be known in Nigeria, even after the dinner.
“Usually, it is organised as a small dinner for very important personalities, but this year we preferred to have anyone who could answer the questions via the internet.
“We have many Nigerians from different origin and personalities, that is what makes the dinner unique, we also have six Nigerian chefs that prepared the dinner and that is equally good,” he said.
He noted that the French dishes were prepared not just by Nigerian chefs, but also with the local recipes derived within the country.
He further re-affirmed his country’s commitment not just to improving relations between the two countries in all fields, but also to boost investment and economic cooperation existing between them.
He said that although French people were proud of their language, having more Nigerians speak French would help to strengthen the bilateral relationship between both countries.
The Amb.added that it would also foster good relationship with Benin, Niger and Cameroun, the French speaking countries that shared regional boundaries with Nigeria.
In separate interviews, some chefs and participants at the dinner urged the Federal Government to partner with France through such celebration to promote the country’s image to the outside world.
A chef, Mrs Chioma Madu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the Provence course meal was about eating natural things, seasoned with natural tastes.
She said although she derived her spice for cooking the meal in Nigeria, preparation of the meal was easy because the aroma was more important to the French than taste.
“France is well known for quality of food, but with good reputation, you have to renew it, this is the idea of the event,“ she said.
Another chef, Yves Simon, said that although it was his second time of participating in such an event, government should replicate it to promote culinary growth.
“Nigeria’s food should be prioritised for its taste,” Simon said.
Another participant, Ms Ewhomazino Otuorimuo, who said that the event did not only help to portray France, urged government to also organise such event abroad to promote/showcase Nigeria’s cuisine.
“Nigeria should take steps to portray our cultural food; if Nigeria embassies could come up with this sort of event, it will boost bilateral relations and promote tourism and culture,” Otuorimuo said.
NAN reports that the event featured live music performances, inspired dishes among others. (NAN)