Gourmet week in Pondi

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In order to prepare its gourmet week, which will take place from March 17th to 23rd, Alliance Française de Pondichéry welcomed Jean Hue, a retired and talented chef, who helped guide, teach and instruct the local cooks in the fine art of French cooking. His immaculate training proved to be a great success.

Jean Hue

Jean Hue

Diplomacy and love are not the only two attributes that define France. French cuisine and culinary art have added yet another sparkle, which has made its way into innumerable kitchens of the world. Thus the Alliance Française de Pondichéry, in its endeavour to showcase French culture and art in the framework of programs to highlight its 125th anniversary, is organizing a gastronomy week from the 17th to the 23rd of March 2014. Six different restaurants will participate in a food festival which is specially crafted for this occasion. Satsanga, Hôtel de l’Orient, Ocean Spray, Villa Shanti, Maison Rose and Café de Flore are all set to bring this epicurean delight to the people of Pondicherry.

Alliance Française, through the help of AGIRabcd, a French non-government organization, which promotes solidarity and professional development, has had the good fortune to welcome Mr Jean Hue, an experienced and skilled chef of international repute, who is currently in Pondicherry and is training the local chefs of a few selected hotels and restaurants to participate in the gastronomy week. Café de Flore, Alliance’s own café, will be the hub for all operations, which will not only oversee the food festival but will also organize the anniversary gala dinner along with the initial cocktail dinner to host and welcome the special guests and high level delegation arriving for the Festival.

Jean Hue’s culinary delights will also be offered to delegates arriving from all the Alliance Française branches in India coming to Pondicherry for an academic training, which will also include participants and guests from various francophone countries who will gather for an evening of intellectual and literary debate. With a line up of such important visitors and events, it is definitely imperative to select a multi-skilled chef with talent and innovation, who will surpass the demands of every taste bud with a myriad of delectable food delights, tempting and decorative at the same time and leaving traces of an aroma that will linger for long.

It is a treat to chat with the friendly, dignified and full of humor Jean Hue who believes that food is an element that brings people together. Born in 1951, he comes from a family of winery culture amidst the picturesque Val de Loire region. Despite his good results in school, he chose to be an apprentice in catering and later a chef in Relais et Châteaux, a well known chain of luxury restaurants and hotels. His military service sent him off to New Caledonia. When he returned to France, his creativity began to blossom and his desire to explore other lands lead him to travel to New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Mauritius, Réunion Island, etc. There, he gathered an array of unknown condiments and started concocting them into dishes that became his signature style : the added aroma of the tropics sprinkled with the fine delicate touch of continental cooking. His mouth-watering dishes soon began to conquer the palates of many gourmets, far and near.

After fifty years of teaching culinary and catering art at the Trade Chamber in Réunion Island, he returned to France in 2008. Ever since 2013, Jean Hue folded his wings into a life of blissful retirement but is still as energetic, passionate and crafty as ever. He never loses a moment to recreate dishes and experiment, time and again, venturing to new shores in the realm of gastronomy. This made him join AGIRabcd, an association of retired men and women that promotes education, solidarity with the old and professional training, among others. Totally enthralled and awestruck by a variety of rice the size of a sesame seed he found in Pondicherry, he gleefully accepted an offer to carry a few kilos back with him – to try out a new dish made from these little grains of rice.

A beaming Jean Hue declared that food has taken him many places. He called it a “voyage à travers l’assiette” which indeed summarizes his life and his passion.


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Directeur de publication : Délégation Générale de la Fondation Alliance Française en Inde et au Népal

Rédacteur en chef : Laurent Elisio Bordier

Rédacteur/Coordinateur national : Siddharth Bhatt

Rédacteurs, contributeurs : Guillaume, Abhirami, Alexandre, Chintan, Cléa, David, Eleonore, Elie, Kanika, Karine, Nita, Thomas, Malvika, Marie-Joëlle, Meera, Mayuri, Mitushi, Alice, Prutha, Romain, Ritika, Manas, Supriya ...