Le Fooding, the upstart French culinary group, kicked off its annual New York food fest today in Brooklyn, dubbed Le Fooding Brooklyn Fling. In its fourth year, the U.S. foray of the Paris-based publisher of restaurant guides and arbiter of culinary culture has been a success among the food-obsessed. So much so that Le Fooding this year opened New York offices. And now Le Fooding says it's heading west.
Anna Polonsky, who heads Le Fooding's France-U.S. partnerships, says Le Fooding will stage its good-time gastro-fest in Los Angeles in the spring. Although plans are still in the works, possible collaborators and venues include the Museum of Contemporary Art and Chateau Marmont, she says.
Polonsky describes Le Fooding's events not as fairs or festivals but as cultural markers -- "we really try to find an editorial angle and to curate the event around it," she says. One New Yorker article described the events as a cross between "a dinner buffet and the Woodstock festival."
As for the planned L.A. Le Fooding, "I don’t want to say too much," Polonsky says. "I think to start we’ll probably do soemthing closer to what we originally did in New York. Something bigger, a big urban picnic with Le Fooding's touch – great musicians, DJs, graphic art."
Why L.A.? "Since we’re going to do a second city," Polonsky says, "we wanted to do something as lively as New York but also as different as possible from New York. L.A. is exactly that.... In terms of food it’s really interesting, it’s a new story different than the New York scene."
Le Fooding Brooklyn Fling starts off with a series of dinners called the Brooklyn Tour, pairing far-flung chefs such as Brian Leth of Vinegar Hills House in Brooklyn and L.A.'s own Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of Animal. Other featured chefs include Alain Senderens, Daniel Rose, Ignacio Mattos and Hugue Dufour.
Several food-fest events take place during the next few days, through Sunday: Inaki Aizpitarte of Paris' Chateaubriand will make piperade (a Basque saute of tomatoes and peppers) for weekend brunch; Bertrand Grébaut of Septime in Paris and Magnus Nilsson of Faviken Magasinet in Sweden also will be cooking at weekend events. Even famed Paris pastry chef Pierre Hermé will be serving desserts.