Art Talk: Meet Illustrator Floc'h, The Man Behind Le Fooding's LA Program

Le Fooding tapped famed Parisian illustrator Floc'h to design the program for Le Grand Fooding Crush Paris-L.A., which takes place April 26-27 at Los Angeles' Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. Why? That's a good question — which is why we reached out to the man himself.

Floc'h, who goes by one name, is an illustrator and artist whose work usually ranges from magazine covers to colorful movie posters to comic books. On the blog, L'homme dans la foule (it translates as "the man in the crowd"), you can get a sense of his style; it's playful, lovingly detailed, simultaneously realist and yet cartoon-ish.

His work is a great fit for Le Fooding, the French restaurant guide (mostly for Paris) and events company, which has previously hosted Le Grand Fooding fests in New York. This year, founder Alexandre Cammas and his team smartly looked to LA — home of a vibrant, developing food scene. Over the course of two days, Le Grand Fooding Crush will feature some of Paris's hottest and most accomplished young chefs cooking alongside their LA counterparts. (Tickets and more info here.) For the program, Floc'h depicted these pairings with big red hearts behind the chefs, who are in various forms of embrace. It's a witty, fun presentation, very French and yet very LA. Parfait!

Oh, and since M. Floc'h provided answers in French, we'll leave his original responses in italics for those who can read French, alongside a translation in English.

How did you get introduced to Le Fooding?

At a book signing.

A une signature de livre.

How did you feel about working on a food-driven, chef-driven project?

It was fairly new to me. I did a portrait of Alain Senderens when he returned his Michelin stars for the U.S. magazine Travel + Leisure.

C'était assez nouveau pour moi, j'ai fait une fois un portrait d'Alain Senderens, lorsqu'il a rendu ses étoiles, pour un magazine américain Travel + Leisure

How was this project different for you than, say, movie posters or comic books?

Regarding the program cover, it was the same as working on a movie poster or a comic book cover. As for the inside, as long as there is a concept behind it, an idea which is consistent and that I like, inspiration comes naturally. In this case, it was the crush idea, to illustrate the meeting between the French and American chefs.

Pour la couverture du programme c'est la même chose qu'il s'agisse d'une affiche de film ou d'une couverture de BD. Quant à l'intérieur du moment qu'il y a un concept, une idée qui me plait, qui tient la route ça vient tout seul. En l'occurrence la rencontre entre chefs français et américain, l'idée de crush.

Do you care much about food, and do you frequent restaurants in Paris? If so, which ones?

Good cuisine is important! Growing older, we can't bear "normal" cuisine anymore. At a restaurant, we need to have an experience. Otherwise we're better off at home.

Two of my favorite Parisian restaurants:

  • SakeBar, for their always surprising bentos (3, rue Valette, 75005 Paris).

  • Ciasa Mia, a Northern Italian restaurant without any pasta or pizza (19, rue Laplace, 75005 Paris).

La bonne cuisine est importante! En vieillissant on ne supporte plus la cuisine dite "normale". Au restaurant il faut vivre une expérience, sinon autant rester chez soi.

2 adresses parisiennes:

  • Sakebar, 5 rue Valette Paris 5, pour les Bento toujours surprenants.
  • Ciasa Mia, 19 rue Laplace Paris 5, un restaurant italien sans pate ni pizza, une cuisine du nord de l'Italie.

What's coming next for you?

"Villa Mauresque," a biography of Somerset Maugham (Editions de La Table Ronde), coming out in May.

"Floc'h inventaire" (Editions La Martinière), coming out next October.

En mai, "Villa Mauresque," une biographie de Somerset Maugham, aux éditions Le Table ronde

En octobre, "Floc'h inventaire," aux éditions La Martinière.