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Apr 13, 2010 08:31 AM

Le Fooding article (New Yorker)


If anyone missed the article on Le Fooding movement in the New Yorker last week, here is the link:

l'Ami Jean, la Regalade, le Comptoir, Yam'tcha and Frenchie are all mentioned.

  1. He got Le Fooding so wrong (that everything rests on the print version not the website) that I can't trust anything he said.
    That plus my meal at his favorite local Sunday place has made me convinced that as he made plain years ago, he only went to Paris to get a job at the New Yorker.
    I'm in the midst of writing a piece about his piece.

    7 Replies
    1. re: John Talbott

      "he only went to Paris to get a job at the New Yorker."

      god forbid.

      1. re: Parigi

        After the finishing the article, I still couldn't figure out what Le Fooding was...

        1. re: stanshep

          It isn't the easiest article to digest. My understanding is Le Fooding is a bunch of people having a lot of fun, they are breaking traditions and are non-conformist. They hold events and publish a guide. I tend to use the on-line guide quite a lot for casual dining options and they seem to be faster to spot new places than Michelin. I find Michelin and Le Fooding guides work quite well together extending the range of restaurants. The Le Fooding guide isn't perfect but I like it because it is very French (rather than built for the tourist market).

          1. re: PhilD

            Well, I know some of the principals/players and while ambituous and maybe naive (eg to hold a Fooding d'Amour in NY as if it were Calcutta or invite an obscure pizza maker from Brooklyn to Normandy while charging one of the few American cooking talents in Paris full freight) they are well-intended.
            What Gopnik doesn't get is that some of us read their web-based news and reviews and find them pretty good, whereas Gopnik minimizes that and touts their devotion to the print guide (which is their weakest link and has goofy symbols invented by some of their ex-Gault-Millau survivors who tried the same stuff there).
            Anyway, as I said, I'm working up my bile to fire off an article, once Colette releases our NYorker copy from her pile of many horrors.

            1. re: John Talbott

              Adam Gopnik can be too clever by half, but he redeems himself by writing very well.

              There may be inaccuracies in the article as to the importance of the Fooding's Web and Print editions, and Gopnik's choice of restaurant for his Sunday lunch may leave a little to be desired, but I think he got a lot of stuff right.

              Like La Nouvelle Vague and Impressionism two other movements identified and named by French critics, "Fooding" is a sometimes fluffy thing that doesn't really know and can't always describe what that it is.

              However, and as suggested in the article, I think the movement reflects the fact that the same changes that other key spheres of French Culture, especially fashion, have undergone (the emergence of international competition, the importance of branding and the mass-market, starification) have also swept over French cuisine and it needs to be said.

              1. re: vielleanglaise

                I agree with what you say, although I always shudder a little when complex issues are reduced to a binary set of extremes as they seem to be in the article. For me Le Fooding represents the move which is present in a lot of countries to broaden the appeal of, and access to, good food. I like to think of Le Fooding and Michelin as being on the same continuam rather than in two opposing camps, and I suspect hat is how those in the industry see it as well.

                I see parallels in the Gastropub evoluton in the UK, and the flowering of inner-suburban restaurants in Australia. Although it is interesting to see these trends flourish in other countries without the need for a movement, is this, I wonder, anything to do with the journalists who are in the vanguard of the movement? off

                1. re: PhilD

                  I agree with what you say about binary extremes, but wheras they're dangerous and should be avoided with more serious issues it's very difficult for criticism, or indeed discussions like this one to proceed without them.

                  I know nothing about the Australian scene, but couldn't you say the the role of journalists, or at least celebrity journalists, in the UK's "culinary revolution" is huge? Jamie, Nigella, Hugh? Even the term "Gastropub", is a journalistic invention.

                  Isn't the difference that in the UK the "revolution" is very consumeristic, whereas in France it's ideological?

    2. This board is about finding delicious chow in France. There is already a thread about this article on our Food Media and News board, so we're going to lock this and direct you to that thread for further discussion.