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French Chefs Convene in Philly for Gastronomic Partnership

by Mark Thompson
EDGE Style & Travel Editor
Sunday Apr 3, 2011
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For twenty-six years, Chef Georges Perrier has been Philadelphia’s premier five-star chef. A native of Lyons, Chef Perrier opened Le Bec-Fin in 1970 as a small, thirty-five seat restaurant on Spruce Street. By 1983, Le Bec-Fin was so well-known and highly-regarded that it necessitated a move to its current location on Walnut Street. Furnished in the style of Louis XVI, with grand chandeliers and an extensive wine list, Le Bec-Fin (meaning a "fine beak" or, metaphorically, a person of taste, such as a gourmand) celebrated forty years in 2010.

Recently, the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA) announced that Perrier, a regional member of the Maîtres Cusiniers de France (Master Chefs of France), was the first recipient of the Culinary Visionary Award, which will be presented to Perrier during PIFA’s Opening Night Gala on April 7th.

In keeping with PIFA’s themes of collaboration and creativity, PIFA is bringing eleven renowned chefs from Lyons and Paris to work alongside their City of Brotherly Love counterparts for a three-night partnership at restaurants throughout Philadelphia from the 13th of April through the 15th of April. Each French chef will create culinary chefs d’oeuvre to highlight the diversity of French cuisine - and technique. At Le Bec-Fin, Chef Perrier will be paired with Mathieu Viannay from La Mère Brazier in Lyons. The PIFA menus will be featured at the host restaurants from 13 April through 1 May 2011; reservations are required.

Expect nothing less than gastronomic genius throughout Philadelphia - which is to be expected from the City that gave us both cheese steaks and Le Bec-Fin.

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PIFA Chef Pairings:

Michael Abt of Parc with Frédéric Berthod of 33 Cité

Terence Feury of Fork with Simon Lacassin of Préfecture du Rhône

Daniel Stern of R2L with Babette De Rozieres of La Table de Babette

Pierre Calmels of Bibou with Olivier Paget of Le Fleurie

Jon Cichon of Lacroix with Frédéric Côte of Restaurant au Colombier

Chris Scarduzio of Table 31 with Arnaud Languille of ClostaTraiteur

Olivier Desaintmartin of Caribou Café with Jean-Paul Borgeot of La Tassée

Dan Black of Amuse (Le Méridien Phila) with Eric Brujan of L’Orénac Le Méridien Etoile

Peter Woolsey of Bistrot La Minette with Joseph Viola of Daniel et Denise

Georges Perrier of Le Bec Fin with Mathieu Viannay of La Mère Brazier

Michael Yeamans of Rouge with Nasserdine Mendi of Chocolaterie Weiss

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LINK: PIFA Culinary Component


A long-term New Yorker and a member of New York Travel Writers Association, Mark Thompson has also lived in San Francisco, Boston, Provincetown, D.C., Miami Beach and the south of France. The author of the novels WOLFCHILD and MY HAWAIIAN PENTHOUSE, he has a PhD in American Studies and is the recipient of fellowships at MacDowell, Yaddo, and Blue Mountain Center. His work has appeared in numerous publications.

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