France is the country of fine cuisine and its masters -- Brillat-Savarin, Escoffier, the Larousse Gastronomique -- but ask Le Fooding's Alexandre Cammas, and he'll tell you that it was a little behind the times. When Cammas began writing about food in the late '90s, the wiry Frenchman says, the culinary culture was suffering from white-napkin exhaustion -- starchy chefs cooking in antique styles (and at prohibitive prices) for the lucky few: "Who wants to be in uniform all the day with the colors of the flag?" Inspired by the inventive cooking in the smaller kitchens of Paris (and in New York and London, too) he coined his phrase -- and inadvertently, his movement -- in a column for Nova magazine: "Le Fooding."
Since then, Le Fooding has grown from a nonsense word to a phenomenon: a published restaurant guide (now encompassing all of France), a series of sponsored events and benefits, and an active Web presence. This September, it crosses the pond for Le Fooding D'Amour Paris-New York, an international event at P.S. 1, pairing New York's most inventive young chefs, mixologists and DJs with the best of Paris for two evenings of revelry -- the sort that includes, in equal measure, pork by David Chang, cocktails by Bar du Plaza AthÃ©nÃ©e's Thierry Hernandez and tunes spun by Paul Sevigny and Kolkoz. (Needless to say, the menu goes on.) "There's a common sense between these chefs," says Cammas. "Not through the food but the way of thinking." Vive la rÃ©volution.
Le Fooding D'Amour Paris-New York takes place Sept. 25â26 at P.S. 1. for tickets, visit www.lefooding.com.
Le Fooding D'Amour also features a multimedia performance presentation, Le Show D'Amour, directed by Sylvie Busnel, every night starting at 9 p.m.