French Cuisine? Peut-être pas! (Maybe not)

Banning industrial food from restaurants is a proposal recently made to crack down on the proliferation of restaurants serving boil-in-a-bag or microwaved ready meals as restaurant-quality cuisine.  Due to the current economic climate and a more fast food lifestyle and modern technology, restaurants can make higher profits and save on the expense of a real chef by serving industrialized food.  The proposal is only one of several recent attempts to address what many see as the declining standards of France’s famed restaurants.

In April, the Collegeresto de quality sign Culinaire de France — a 15-member industry group founded by the country’s leading chefs — launched a new “quality restaurant” label awarded to eateries that meet top cooking and service standards.

The culinary group — which counts members such as Alain Ducasse, Joel Robuchon and Guy Savoy — will grant the label to deserving restaurants and make sure standards are maintained through online client surveys.

Many websites are also cropping up in France to advise consumers on restaurants where food is prepared in-house, such as “restaurantsquifontamanger.fr,” set up last year by food-lover Alain Tortosa.

What to do?  Look for restaurants that have a smaller selection/limited menu, such as a plat du jour, which would more likely indicate homemade cooking.

Fast food and take-aways last year accounted for 54 percent of the French market, or 34 billion euros ($44 billion) in sales, for the first time outselling traditional sit-down meals with table service.

Quel dommage!

Source: Expatica

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13 thoughts on “French Cuisine? Peut-être pas! (Maybe not)

  1. I think this could work for any type of food restaurant. I prefer when it’s made-in the kitchen recipes instead of warming up a frozen meal… that I can do too 😉

  2. Great subject and interesting debate. However, I don’t think anyone is seriously thinking of banning any kind of food (other than perhaps horsemeat labeled as something else)! The idea is more a question of informing diners more clearly and honestly of just what they can expect on their plates.

    I totally agree with the most important guideline: look for the smallest menus. It is amazing how many people think that an enormous choice on a menu is a good thing, when in fact it is a surefire sign of food that is either preprepared or not homecooked, or both!

  3. Thanks, Frank – I agree that stricter labeling guidelines sounds like the logical way to go with this issue. It will be interesting to see how it all turns out.

  4. Lisaman says:

    It’s about knowing what you can eat where.. I was in Budapest recently and plenty places just heat up in the microwave.. amazing!!

  5. Thanks – It is amazing, especially if the restaurant is charging prices that correspond with authentic cooking – I’m sure it happens everywhere.

  6. missbbobochic says:

    An interesting post. Funnily enough I was chatting to a waitress in Paris last weekend having enjoyed a wonderful meal and she was saying that there are some restaurants in touristy areas that don’t have a chef and they just use microwaves. Disappointing to hear!

  7. cteachr says:

    Shocking news! Here I thought French food was so fresh compared to American food.

  8. Like anywhere, you have to be aware of the tourist traps, especially relating to cost cutting measures for higher profitability. It is, sadly, a sign of the economic climate.

  9. frenchfry36 says:

    You don’t eat out to pay top dollar for a microwaved meal. I was shocked to find out that in Rome most restaurants don’t make their own lasagne. How sad. One of the delights of travel is to eat authentic local cuisine. I’m all for this new French idea, thanks for the info.

  10. You’re welcome – surprising to hear about the lasagne in Rome – thanks for sharing that info.

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