À TABLE ! #2
The annual Rendez-vous
An annual event full of flavours
As part of our French Excellence Programme, Alliance Française de Singapour offered its visitors the opportunity to learn more about French cuisine, in their annual rendez-vous À TABLE !, from 17 September to 5 November 2022. This year’s edition was all about French gastronomy, through an exhibition, masterclasses, workshops and screenings.
In a transformed gallery, the history of French gastronomy was presented from the first banquets of the Gauls, already covered with cold cuts, to 2010, when UNESCO recognised French gastronomy as a universal intangible heritage of humanity.
Emphasis was also placed on the evolution of this cuisine as the world was discovered. For example, on the French nobles of the Middle Ages who required that their dishes were covered with cinnamon, a faraway spice that was a sign of wealth, whose red colour distinguished them from the black bread of the common people. Of course, the discovery of America and all its new flavours was mentioned. Not forgetting the influence of Italy when Catherine de Medici came to France with her cooks, bringing with her macaroons and cream puffs.
In a gallery turned into a restaurant
On entering the gallery, the visitors discovered a large banquet table that could seat twenty guests, in a restaurant-like atmosphere. For the occasion, twenty porcelain plates of the famous Haviland brand adorned the table, each with a different and exclusive pattern. The story behind each ornament was presented next to its model in the form of a menu. Each plate was accompanied by a set of silver cutlery and four glasses, each for a different drink: water, red wine, white wine and champagne. The table was also adorned with Daum crystal sculptures, to accentuate the baroque style of the whole.
Finally, through the swinging doors typical of a restaurant, the visitor had access to the last room in the exhibition: the kitchen, fully functional! Two impressive Gaggenau ovens, magnificent De Buyer copper pans, professional metal tables... All ready for a unique experience...
A multi-sensory exhibition
To get the full experience of this second edition of À Table ! the public had the opportunity to sign up for Masterclasses with chefs from Singapore's leading French restaurants, including MICHELIN stars chefs, in a very exclusive setting. From Les Cheveux d’ange au caviar by three-star Chef Sébastien Lepinoy, to the Couscous by two-star Chef Emmanuel Stroobant, as well as pastries from Tarte by Chef Koh, among others, Alliance Française and gastronomy enthusiasts were spoiled with delicious food...
The whole experience didn't stop there; visitors could also sign up for workshops where their sense of taste was challenged. There was a wide choice of different flavours to learn how to taste: caviar, chocolate, cheese and cognac, gin, champagne, cocktails, wine, and finally the combination of wine and cheese. Once they arrived at the gallery, they were invited to sit at the exhibition banquet itself, and, surrounded by the history of gastronomy, the tasting began. Depending on the theme of the workshop, an expert specialist would come and share his/her knowledge.
… or on your own!
The sensory tour was accessible to all as part of the gallery was set aside for a sense station. Six fragrances contained in boxes were to be guessed, each referring to a period in the history of French gastronomy.
The art of cooking in all its aspects
If the visitor was not full, two comedies related to French cuisine were projected in Alliance Française’ theatre, Delicious and Tasting, as well as two documentaries, Michelin stars: Tales from the kitchen and Terroir to table, and a children's film, The Scent of Carrot, enough to satisfy the whole family!
See you next year for a new culinary adventure!