Vive la cuisine française


France — the country that invented haute cuisine — continues to be identified with all that is best in food and wine, as well as some unusual phenomena such as the “French paradox” in which people who eat lots of fatty patés and drink plenty of red wine manage to outlive those fat- and calorie-conscious folks elsewhere.

A two-day symposium, “A Celebration of Food: France and America in the New Millennium” May 12 and 13, brings French and American scholars, authors, chefs and winemakers together to discuss the cultural and sociopolitical aspects of food and wine along with nutrition, healthcare and lifestyle issues, not to mention the concept of haute cuisine itself.

And since the symposium is about food, there will also be some of that on hand too. Lunches both days will feature samples of some of the finest products Philadelphia-area wineries, restaurants and food purveyors have to offer, and Antoine Westermann, chef of the three-star Buerehiesel restaurant in Strasbourg, will create a special dinner the evening of May 12. Philly’s own ambassador of fine French food, Georges Perrier, will also be honored at an awards ceremony prior to the dinner.


n “A CELEBRATION OF FOOD”: Saturday, May 12, and Sunday, May 13, at the University of Pennsylvania Museum, 33rd and Spruce streets. Panel discussions from 9 a.m. to noon and 2 to 5 p.m. each day; grazing lunches served from noon to 2 p.m each day in Irvine Auditorium, 34th and Spruce streets; gala dinner Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the Museum’s Upper Egyptian Gallery. Admission to panel discussions free; lunch tickets $20, students $15 (first come, first served); dinner tickets $85 (including wine and gratuity). Info: or 215-573-3550.

Originally published on May 3, 2001