During his first term as President of France in the early 80’s, François Mitterrand was served by an all-male team of culinary chefs skilled in haute cuisine. Mitterand was a renowned gastronome and had a penchant for ‘simple food’ done superbly so upon his re-election for a second term, he requested a change to his chef line-up, and specifically asked for “a woman of the country side” in his kitchen. A recommendation from famed French chef, Joël Robuchon steered the President’s aides to a farm in the Périgord region of France.
Enter Danièle Delpeuch. When approached by French government officials with the request to move to Paris and become the personal chef of then President François Mitterrand, she was caught off guard and responded that her ewes were ready to give birth. A comical scene that paints a picture of a simple country woman catapulted into the highest echelons on Parisian cuisine, political power and opulence. But Danièle Delpeuch was far from an ordinary woman and was not unknown to the French culinary scene.
In the 1970s she’d campaigned to revive the ailing foie gras industry, started the now famous Foie Gras Weekends at her 700 year old farm, sold her foie gras to the likes of Joël Robuchon and not surprisingly, earned herself the moniker, “Queen of Foie Gras”. In 1980, the French agricultural industry bestowed their highest honour upon her: Chevalier du Mérite Agricole. Now that to me paints a scene of an accomplished, determined woman – one not afraid of a challenge.
Haute Cuisine is a movie based on Danièle Delpeuch’s real life experiences and follows Hortense Laborie who moves to Paris in her mid 40’s as the President’s personal chef. The movie is laden with lovingly shot, mouthwatering scenes of the authentic traditional French dishes Laborie creates in the Élysée Palace and her clashes with the egos of an all-male haute cuisine kitchen as she tries to win over the President. Haute Cuisine is showing as part of the 2013 Alliance French Film Festival and opens in cinemas on April 25.
The good news is that thanks to Transmission Films, I’m giving away 10 double passes to see the film!
And it couldn’t be easier to win one of 10 double passes, simply:
- Send an email to forager [@] thegourmetforager [.] com
- Use the subject line “Haute Cuisine Competition” and
- Don’t forget to include your name and postal address
The competition is only open to Australian residents, limited to one double pass per email address and the competition closes 11:59pm AEST Monday 22nd of April 2013. Winners will be selected randomly and all winners will be contacted and their passes posted out on Tuesday 23rd of April.
The competition has now closed. Congratulations to the winners of the 10 double passesby