Food is Culture
Food not only touches upon but probably is at the origin of many cultural practices of societies around the world. To this day, even in 'modern' societies the way families and friends connect everyday or on special occasions defines key aspects of any given culture. Hence we believe Food is not only a very appropriate way to discover any Culture; it might well be the best and ultimately only way to decipher a culture.
But in addition to promoting more cultural understanding we promote bringing as many things as possible to the table: more taste, more people, more variety.
Culture is Food
Taste is personal and conditioned by our history; we firmly believe that by expanding your range of experiences and trusting yourself along the way, you will experience more taste and ultimately more pleasure.
- Food availability is based on the movement of people and the interaction of these people with their environment; environments change and there are constantly people moving. This has impacted our diet at a fundamental level (e.g our liking of sweet) or at mundane levels (e.g restaurant landscape in Paris). People’s movement is multiform: immigration, exploration, tourism; but it is also about bringing food to where it is consumed e.g in towns or by the army during wars. Our approach to food has to be open to people’s movements.
- Eating is a social act; not only what we eat identifies us, and represents choices in relation to cosmos, others, ourselves; it also actually makes us happier to share food. We should multiply the occasions to share food.
- The way we eat has enormous consequences on everything: from landscape to health, from our happiness to sometimes others poverty. Understanding these consequences should help us make better choice for our local communities but also for the world at large. If politics is defined as the way power and wealth are distributed, the choices we make on how we feed ourselves might be the most potent political acts we have the opportunity to make. Everyday.
- In traditional societies, there is little science and technology, and few food related diseases. In modern societies, there is a lot of science and technology and a lot of food related diseases. Short of knowing where truth lies, variety should be one of your strategies to guarantee health.
Why it is important to share
So, at the end, we must recognize our meals come from people who have travelled in space and time, and hence always be open to share our meals with others; we should also be ready to share some stories that define us, our culture. All of this helps address fundamental human needs and will make any meal more enjoyable.
While we share, we must respect the specifics of the taste of others as well as our own taste.
As we do so, we must realize that the choices we make about what we eat not only reflect our culture and our individual taste, but also impact others immensely. Finally, we must remember our knowledge of what is good to eat – or what it good to think – will never be final; in the face of that uncertainty, variety seems a good hedging strategy …
Story of a Foodist
Fred travelled the world and the seven seas; well, not quite, but after studying for a PhD in Chemical Engineering at Georgia Tech, he joined Corporate America and criss-crossed Europe, Asia and America for 15 years. Being French of course he loved food – maybe because of his grand-father who while working night shift for the French Post Office maintained an amazing vegetable garden all his life which sustained all his family. Or maybe because of the 3 course meals his mum prepared every lunch and dinner – and that he took for granted … until he left home.
Living abroad for over 10 years and traveling for 10 years after that made him also love the discovery of other cultures. And one of his first and systematic steps of that discovery in any new country was always a meal, ideally a somewhat traditional meal, like Thanksgiving when he moved to America.
But Fred was hungry for a bit more: more understanding of why people eat what they eat and do what they do; in short more cultural perspective. So over time he built a vision of helping people discover culture through food with simple narrative and culinary experiences. And when his company relocated from Paris to Geneva he knew it was time for him to say good-bye to 15 years of corporate America and follow that dream. After intensive cooking classes with Alain Ducasse Formation, he joined “Hautes Etudes du Goût” (the High Studies of Taste) and graduated with a bachelor in from the University of Reims in Champagne. And Le Foodist was born.
The woman behind Le Foodist
Amanda was born and raised in Kent, England and was always eager to go and travel the world. This is how she met Fred 20 years ago - in Atlanta actually. Trained in different fields, member of Wabi Sabi and also a talented ceramist, she also has a true talent for making places feel right and people at home. We are blessed she is teaching several of the pâtisserie classes as well as making Le Foodist as beautiful and special as it is. Amanda has also been a vegetarian for over 25 years and is contemplating launching a series of vegetarian classes with Le Foodist.
Stéphane, the wine esthete
From the age of 18, our sommelier Stéphane has focused his energy in advancing his knowledge of wines and the wines world through its multiple angles. After working as a sommelier waiter in internationally recognized gourmet restaurants in France and abroad, he enhanced his expertise in a cellar master course in Bordeaux. He managed a famous Parisian cellar for several years and also beame the animator for a wine tasting club during that time.
His curiosity and entrepreneurial spirit pushed him to open an e-commerce site focused solely on wine and champagne, for which he furhter developed his multiple relationships with producers. As an epicueran and gastronome, Stéphane likes to share his passion with men and women from around the world to explore the wonderful sensations and pleasures that wine can bring, but always in a simple and fun way.