French Haute Cuisine

By Didier Allouch, host of Rendez-vous d'Amérique

My dear francophiles, francovorous and francophageous friends, let me first wish you the best for 2019… Health, fortune, and love for you all the ones you love, of course, but also the best in cinema, theatre, music, art, food, the best in culture in many forms. And if it has the slightest French accent, it will be in Rendez-Vous d’Amérique. Let’s start the New Year by talking about one of my favorite subjects: food…

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Or should I say “cuisine” or even more French haute cuisine since the first episode of 2019 features one of the best chefs in the world: Dominique Crenn. She’s the owner of the restaurant L’Atelier Crenn in San Francisco, and the only woman in the US with 3 Michelin Stars. 3 Stars.  It’s only the biggest honor you can ever get in the discipline. Therefore, we had to go there to congratulate one of the best French haute cuisine chefs that work in the United States.

And I must say that shooting stories about chefs is one of the best parts of our job. Let me tell you a trade secret when you shoot a story about a chef and if everything goes well, the chef usually invites you for an unforgettable meal. We shouldn’t accept, because of ethics and stuff like that. But it’s food cooked by some of the best in their craft just for us. Would you say no? And we have to know what we’re talking about. And I’m not sure that Patrice, my boss at TV5MONDE, will refund this kind of expense. (Patrice? No? OK!).

One of the best dinners I’ve ever had was “for work”… It was a story about chef Hubert Keller. Keller is still one of the best in his job; he got multiple awards, including one Michelin Star. You probably know him from TV; he was a judge in Top Chef. At the time, he owned Fleur De Lys in San Francisco. Besides being a wonderful cook, Chef Keller is super nice (so is Dominique Crenn, probably comes with the trade). And so, we do shoot all day with him with my camera guy, and at the end of the day, chef Keller said the magic word: “stay for dinner, I’ll take care of you”.

And, Lord, I must say he did. We tried five appetizers, four French haute cuisine entrees, and three desserts. All this with nine different wines… and all were exquisite… and Chef Keller came to our table, explained each serving, told jokes, gave us secrets of the trade. I will never forget that evening, or at least most of it because, after 9 glasses of wine, some parts are kind of blurry… But, oh my, what a night…Sometimes, life is good…

I hope it will be for all of you in 2019!

To learn more about Michelin star chef Dominique Crenn her U.S. based restaurants, and other topics including Jean-Luc Godard at the Cannes press conference via FaceTime, tune in to Rendez-vous d’Amérique – the French language TV show on TV5MONDE USA that covers cultural Francophone events throughout the United States.

Rendez-Vous d’Amérique invites you to discover the world of Francophone culture in America, which includes classical music, art, fine cuisine, modern performances, film festivals, and more. Your host on this cultural experience is Didier Allouch - reporter, cinephile, and a familiar face on the red carpet. Click here to learn how you can subscribe to TV5MONDE and watch Rendez-vous d'Amérique!