Saudi center launches pavilion for children during Environment Week

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - JEDDAH: A top chef has brought French flavors to the Kingdom as part of 'Good France,' an event aimed at promoting French cuisine abroad.

The Jeddah residence of the French consul general, Mohammed Nehad, hosted a group of Saudi press representatives on Monday as part of the festival’s closing day.

Renowned French chef Stephane Collet and his assistant, Florian Atteleyn, served an exclusive lunch that showcased the artisanship and elegance of French gastronomy.

Renowned French chef Stephane Collet served an exclusive lunch that showcased the artisanship and elegance of French gastronomy. (AN photo)

Nehad told Arab News: “Today’s invitation aims to introduce you to the delights of French cuisine. This longstanding tradition highlights the elegance and flavor of French cooking.”

French gastronomy was recognized by UNESCO as part of the world’s intangible cultural heritage in November 2010.

My journey to becoming a chef began with family meals that ignited my passion for cooking. I fondly remember the dishes prepared by my grandmothers and parents, each imbued with love and joy.

Stephane Collet, French chef

Collet told Arab News: “My journey to becoming a chef began with family meals that ignited my passion for cooking. I fondly remember the dishes prepared by my grandmothers and parents, each imbued with love and joy.

“Influenced by renowned chefs during my training at the Touquet Hotel School, I embarked on a path to become a Meilleur Ouvrier de France.”

Fresh fillet of white fish with creamy sauce, highlighted classic French flavors served alongside a medley of asparagus and a mini sweet pepper stuffed with ratatouille. (AN photo by Nada Hameed)

Years of professional experience both in France and abroad honed Collet’s culinary skills, and he was guided by passionate mentors and colleagues. Since 2011, he has taught new chefs.

In 2018, Collet was honored with the prestigious title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France. “I cook with love and I respect ingredients … I like to preserve techniques rooted in our French gastronomic heritage. My expertise is sought after for events where I share my culinary journey and skills,” he added.

French crepe drizzled with citrus caramel sauce. (AN photo by Nada Hameed)

In preparation for the day’s seafood banquet, Collet visited Jeddah’s central fish market, where fresh delicacies were a “delight for the eyes with a rich diversity in fish and shrimp varieties.”

The first course featured delicate shrimp and mousseline with a creamy tomato broth.

The main course, a fresh fillet of white fish with creamy sauce served alongside a medley of asparagus and a mini sweet pepper stuffed with ratatouille, was a classic French dish featuring seasonal vegetables and rich aromas.

To end the meal, guests were served crepes drizzled with citrus-inspired caramel sauce, adorned with fresh orange slices and marmalade.

Collet and his team served more than 80 guests during the Francophonie Festival’s closing ceremony.

As the festival concluded, the celebrations continued into the night with a vibrant showcase of music, dance and traditional attire from Francophone countries.

 

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