Le Fooding is back and ready to take you on a ride through the biggest trends in taste at their next celebratory feast — “Time Mach’Inn” — on September 27 and 28. In case you need a refresher, Le Fooding first came to New York from Paris in 2009. They organized a giant, swanky picnic at P.S. 1 with chefs like David Chang, Yves Camdeborde of Le Comptoir du Relais in Paris, Wylie Dufresne of wd50, William Ledeuil of Ze Kitchen Galerie in Paris and Christophe Pele of La Bigarrade in Paris.
Upon arrival, Le Fooding’s leaders Alexandre Cammas and Anna Polonsky explained that their name comes from a combination of food and feeling. The mission in their events and guides is to present a taste of the times; their manifesto is an artful approach to eating. Never dull. The opposite of stodgy. Imagination is key.
They had a friendly debut, but in 2010 Le Fooding wanted to start a fight. That was the year David Chang publically said San Francisco restaurants only serve figs. San Fran chef Laurence Jossel wasn’t having that and said there was nothing exceptional about food in New York. Enter Le Grand Fooding to settle the score. Six chefs from both coasts battled it out at P.S. 1 to show hungry eaters who was on top.
For their third year in New York, Le Fooding hosted the Exquisite Corpse event, which featured a meal collectively assembled by 13 chefs from around the world over the course of 52 hours. Then, in 2012, Le Fooding created the Brooklyn Fling — which put the spotlight on a new generation of young, talented chefs emerging in the outskirts of cities. Think Young Turks of London or Inaki Aizpitarte of Le Chateaubriand in Paris.
This year, Le Fooding is doing a tongue-in-cheek retrospective of food trends over the past 30 years. I sat down with Anna Polonsky and Eva Provence to hear about what they have in store. Anna said, “Every year we try to think of the current themes…and this year we’re playing with the idea of the hipsterization of food and making fun of it…”
The first stop in the time machine will visit the fusion cuisine era — the 1990s — with an appetizer by chef Peter Gordon whose restaurant, the Sugar Club, used to turn out dishes like kangaroo salad in London back in the day. Anna says, “It’s easy to make fun of fusion now but if you look back Sugar Club was a very important place…”
Next stop on the menu will be the Bistronomy era, featuring the main course by Yves Camborde of the eternally booked Le Comptoir du Relais in Paris. Expect to encounter culinary themes like zero pretention, thoughtful sourcing and regional specialties.
The last stop will be the farm-to-table years and Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli of Prime Meats and Frankies Spuntino will confect a dessert that represents the simplicity, attention to detail and superb sourcing of this era. Jameson Black Barrel whiskey cocktails will be paired with each course and created by Jeanette Levis, the Jameson Ambassador, and Tristan Willey of Booker & Dax. The dinners will also include musical throw-backs from the 90s and early aughts — played on piano — and edible surprises from unlikely collaborators.
When: September 27 and 28 at 7pm
Where: 372 Columbia St, Red Hook, at Res, the Franks’ chef residency
How much: Tickets are $100 and include 4 courses and 3 Jameson Black Barrel cocktails. Ten percent of each ticket will be donated to City Harvest.
Buy tickets at: legrandfooding.com
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