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International Festival of Culinary Photography


Jean-Pierre PJ Stephan, the founder and soul of the culinary photography festival, has chosen the theme “Street Food” for this year’s festival. Far from the tablecloths and snooty waiters, street food expresses the unvarnished culture and history of a people and its rituals. “Tell me what you eat in the street, and I’ll tell you were you come from.” From the most commonplace to the most sophisticated, all types of flavor, color, presentation, and packaging are on display.

This theme inspired around forty professional and amateur photogaphers from around the world, who submitted three photos each. One of the 120 photos submitted will receive the Lentille d’or (the Golden Lentil), the grand prize of the FIPC 2011 jury, presided over by three-star chef Thierry Marx of Le Mandarian Oriental, the new stronghold of French cuisine. The jurists will no doubt have trouble crowning the best.

This is a far cry from the highly artificial photography now commonplace in gourmet magazines, with its codified presentation. The competitors were granted complete freedom, hence the mixture of arty, documentary, trashy, poetic and delirious photographs. The imagination serves to tell the universal story of street food and the decor that accompanies it.

Hurry to the exhibitions to be surprised by their imagination and audacity. Perhaps you will be, like us, seduced by the surrealist poetry of the “Escargot dans la nuit bleue” of Christian Barbe, or by the images of the Brazilian artist, Sergio Coimbra, “Les couleurs du Brésil à Copacabana,” or perhaps by Daniel Fauchon’s black-and-white classical photos of itinerant food merchants.

Andrea Maia has reconstructed the perfect geometric figures of a baguette. Carolien Faccioli’s superb work make macarcoons and chocolates seems like precious stones. With so many contenders for the Lentilles d’or 2011, the winners will surely only be chosen after many bitter debates.

Paul Alessandrini

International Festival of Culinary Photography, 3rd Edition: Street Food

From October 28 to November 13 2011

Three exhibitions (free admission):

Espace Mobalpa,15 bd Diderot, 75012
Bercy Village, 28 rue François Truffaut, 75012
La Coupole, 102 boulevard du Montparnasse, 75014

The program will also feature:

-culinary photography workshops
-a seventeen-day exhibition of galleries exhibiting culinary photography

You can consult the full festival schedule at

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