On 21 March, French Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, SE Mr. Ludovic Pouille, will celebrate French cuisine by launching a worldwide celebration called “Goût de France” (“Taste of France”, in French) / Good France, organized by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs. Good France, which was launched for the first time in 2015, is inspired by Auguste Escoffier, who created the “Dîners d’Épicure” (Epicurean Dinners) initiative in 1912: the same menu, on the same day, in several world cities, for as many guests as possible.

In this spirit, on that day, March 21st, in the UAE and over 150 countries across the world, 3000 restaurants, from bistro to fine dining, will gather to celebrate together French cuisine and its capacity to innovate and unite people around the common values of sharing and enjoyment in a planet-friendly and healthy way. By showcasing French lifestyle and regional products, Goût de France aims also to promote France as the world’s number one tourist destination. In 2017, nearly 90 million tourists visited France, setting a new record. The target of the French government is to reach 100 million international tourists every year by 2020. French gastronomy is a key driver of France attractiveness and cultural outreach: a third of tourists have said they visit France to enjoy its cuisine, including the “gastronomic meal of the French” inscribed in 2010 on UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. For the first time this June, an international gastronomy forum will be held in Paris hosting the sector’s key international players.

In the UAE, twenty restaurants have been selected by the international committee of chefs that approved the list of participating restaurants to ensure the quality of the menus offered. The number of restaurants participating to Good France in the UAE has tripled since last year, reaching an all-time high record. 13 restaurants are located in Dubai (Le Bistro Des Arts, BQ – French Kitchen & Bar, Celebrities, La Cantine du Faubourg, La Serre, M’s Grill, Océana, Odéon, Porterhouse Steaks & Grill Restaurant, Roda Grill Restaurant, STAY by Yannick Alléno, The Grape Escape, Trianon Palace) and 7 in Abu Dhabi (Le Beaujolais, Bord Eau, Crustique, Finz, La Petite Maison, The Forge, Trader Vics).

The increasing number of restaurants participating to Goût de France shows not only that French chefs are active ambassadors of the French excellence in the UAE, but also that French cuisine is universal since chefs from all around the world are leading French restaurants in Dubai and in Abu Dhabi. French cuisine is not only about tradition but also about sharing with young generations. As an example, “Crustique” restaurant, located in the European International College in Abu Dhabi, will host a demonstration workshop of French dishes for their students.

Goût de France is also part of the French-Emirati cultural dialogue, which was launched on February 10 by French Prime minister Edouard Philippe and Her Excellency Noura Al Kaabi, minister of culture and Knowledge Development. In 2018, throughout the whole country, France and the UAE are promoting the dialogue between the two countries through many initiatives. The ambition is to promote, after the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi and during the Year of Zayed, the strong links between the two countries, gastronomy being one of them.

Bon appétit !