Le Cordon Bleu News, 11/16/2010
UNESCO declared on November 16, 2010 that the French gastronomic meal with its rituals, conviviality and art of living is an intangible cultural heritage for humanity. UNESCO experts concluded that the French meal, a practice bringing people together for an occasion to enjoy the art of eating and drinking, fulfilled the conditions to be officially recognized. UNESCO stated that it “...plays an active social role within its community and is transmitted from generation to generation as part of its identity.”
According to François Fillon, the French Prime Minister “…cuisine in France is not only the result of a long historical tradition but also one of the most successful ways of expressing excellent products, the quality of its craftsmanship, and its cultural influence.”
This decision will influence the French food cultural program established by the government to preserve the gastronomic meal through the education of younger generations, classification of French culinary components and organization of cultural events. These objectives will be developed in cooperation with institutional and private partners. Jean-Robert Pitte, former president of La Sorbonne, and current president of France’s mission for the patrimony and food cultures, adds that an institute dedicated to food cultures will be created and pertinent TV programs will be broadcasted on prime time TV, to reinforce the impact of these projects.
“This is not about saying that French cuisine is better than others,” Francis Chevrier chief delegate of the French mission in charge of submitting the UNESCO bid said. “It’s very important that people realize… that when you have knowledge of food it is a treasure for your community, and something worth valuing.”
André J. Cointreau, president of Le Cordon Bleu International announced “We are delighted to learn about this acknowledgment. Le Cordon Bleu has been supporting the French art of living since 1895. Our graduates have been the best ambassadors to promote French cuisine and culture worldwide.”