From Baguettes to Bechamel: Exploring the Delectable Diversity of French Cuisine in Indonesia


The French Embassy in Indonesia, Institut français Indonésie (IFI), Business France Indonesia, with the support of Disciples d’Escoffier Indonesia, have joined forces to host the inaugural "Pekan Gastronomi Prancis" in Indonesia, under the banner "Le Goût de France - Cita rasa Prancis, j'adore !" The week-long gastronomic event kicked off with an Opening and Press Conference on October 12, 2023. His Excellency Mr. Fabien Penone, the Ambassador of France to Indonesia, Timor Leste, and ASEAN, presided over the event's official opening.

The event not only featured the esteemed Ambassador but also included insightful presentations by key figures such as Mr. Sylvain Biard, the Trade Counselor at the French Embassy, who discussed the economic aspects and culinary trade relations between France and Indonesia. Chef Gilles Marx, the President of Disciples Escoffier Indonesia, highlighted the importance of the participation of French restaurants and chefs in the gastronomy week. Additionally, Ms. Charlotte Esnou, the Cultural Cooperation Attaché of IFI/French Embassy in Indonesia, detailed the program of the gastronomy week.

To make the occasion even more special, five finalists from the Indonesian version of "MasterChef," including Mario (Season 10), Lord Adi (Season 8), Gio (Season 10), Fanny (Season 5), and Jerry (Season 7), shared their experiences and culinary wisdom from their participation in the competitive reality show.

In his remarks, Ambassador Fabien Penone emphasized the significance of the gastronomy week as an opportunity for Indonesians to discover and appreciate the diversity of French cuisine while promoting culinary and cultural exchange between France and Indonesia.

While French culinary art is often associated with renowned and exclusive restaurants, the gastronomy week aims to highlight that French cuisine extends far beyond upscale establishments. Bistros, bakeries, and cafes also offer affordable French products. French gastronomy is deeply rooted in family traditions, with recipes passed down through generations. Like Indonesia, the essence of French dining revolves around hospitality, sharing, exchange, and curiosity. UNESCO recognized the cultural heritage of French culinary art in 2010 by inscribing it on the list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity.

The "Pekan Gastronomi Prancis" in Indonesia involves over 150 restaurants and partner institutions across the archipelago, particularly in cities such as Jakarta, Bandung, Bogor, Jambi, Seminyak, Denpasar, Sanur, Ubud, Makassar, Medan, Pasuruan, Surabaya, Tangerang, and Yogyakarta. The event encompasses diverse activities, including French-themed menus at participating restaurants, competitions, film screenings, meetings, discussions, and cooking classes.

Furthermore, fifteen cooking demonstrations have been scheduled at various vocational schools and universities. To add a fun and competitive element to the gastronomy week, a national competition for the best French recipe has been launched on Instagram. This competition is open to all, with ten of the best video creators receiving invitations to the grand final in Jakarta on October 19, 2023. During this event, a panel of judges, including chefs from France and Indonesia, with Gilles Marx serving as the President of the Escoffier Indonesia Student Association, will determine the winner. The grand prize includes a trip to France, offering an opportunity to explore the flavors of French cuisine, complete with round-trip airfare, pocket money, accommodation for a week, and a visa.

For those interested in participating or exploring the full program of "Le Goût de France - Cita rasa Prancis, j'adore !," you can visit their website at It's a week of culinary delight and cultural exchange that promises to satisfy the palate and curiosity of all food enthusiasts.

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