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Passport to France

For the 29th year, French-American Chamber of Commerce (FACC) has presented the Passport to France, a most memorable event that celebrates French wine and cuisine, as well as French culture.

On the November 21, the celebration of Beaujolais Nouveau’s official uncorking has taken place, at the beautiful Union League Club of Chicago. Around 20 local Chefs and 50 food vendors have brought samples of their wines, cognacs, absinthe, cheeses, ice cream, chocolates, as well as intricate dishes to be savored by the party of nearly 900 attendees. The event was organized in a cocktail format on two floors, with guests mingling, listening to the French DJs Sadie and Madrid of White Label, watched a chocolate sculpture be built on-site by The French Pastry School of Kennedy King College, and took souvenir photos in the photo booth. Among the guests from the local French-American community, there was a number of corporate members, their employees, business clients and friends. Union League Club, boasting one of the most beautiful classically-accented interiors in town, was a great fit and enhanced the experience of this high-caliber event.

The foods and spirits that were served ranged from foie gras gougeres to caramelized apple crepes to chocolate entremets, French wines to beers to champagnes to armagnacs… Even the short list brings back vivid memories of  Chefs’ creations: Oysters Brindille, eggs brouilles, leeks and fennel paired with Champagne Henriot Blanc de Blancs NV; Escargot Tatin, bellwether ricotta, caramelized onion with Beaujolais Nouveau 2013; Boeuf Bourguignon with Chateau La Tonnelle 2007; Foie gras mousse en barquette, currants, cassis gelee, basil; Trout roe, spoonbill roe, grapefruit cured shrimp, rice coral, citrus coriander with JCB #69 by Jean-Charles Boisset Cremant de Bourgogne Rose N/V…

Attending Chefs included Pastry Chef Peter Rios of Alliance Bakery, Chef Martial Noguier of Bistronomic, Chef Tim Kirker of Bistrot Zinc, Chef Larry Tio of Brasserie by LM, Chef Carrie Nahabedian of Brindille, Chef Greg Biggers of Cafй des Architectes, Chef Dominique Tougne of Chez Moi, Chef Bartholomew Marquardt of Frog n Snail, Chef Christopher Gawronski of Henri, Chef Jean-Claude Poilevey of La Sardine, Chef Thierry Meissonnier of LB Bistro & Pвtisserie, Chef Ben Reaves of LM Restaurant Group, Chef Doug Psaltis of Paris Club, Pastry Chef Alison Bower of Ruth & Phil’s Gourmet Ice Cream, Chef Cecilio Rodriguez of The Savoy, Chef Michael Garbin of the Union League Club of Chicago, Pastry Chef Stacy Waldrop of Vanille Pвtisserie, and Pastry Chef Elissa Narow of Vie.

The event hosts note that the funds generated at Passport to France go towards FACC’s mission to develop and promote a thriving economic relationship between the United States and France, as well as to serve the ongoing business needs of corporate and individual members throughout the greater Chicagoland area.

All-in-all, a great international and cultural event right in the middle of the Fall season, that leaves attendees looking forward to coming back to it next year.

More information about French-American Chamber of Commerce (FACC) can be found at:  www.facc-chicago.com


Sergei Telis for Kontinent Media
Photos courtesy of FACC


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