Dearest friends, readers, partners, followers, fans, likers, baby gastronomes and original salt & pepper foodies alike,
You’ve been following our editorial and event-related follies for nearly 18 years now, taking by storm all the stylish and original restaurants, bedrooms and bars that have captured our hearts along the way. Such unfailing trust and loyalty deserves our continued support, as we unearth the very best for you, always keeping in mind our evolving lifestyles that get more nomadic and hyper-connected by the day.
But before inviting you to join us on any new adventures, a few points on the how and why of it all: after eight insane and (almost) “no future” years of zigging and zagging (initially with Jean-François Bizot at Nova, then with Louis Dreyfus at Libération), Le Fooding decided to take charge of its own destiny in 2008, independently producing the annual France guide, an addictive app, and more lifestyle-oriented content for the first time…. We threw ourselves headfirst into gastronomic party planning in Paris, NY, Milan, L.A. and even Brussels. The success of all these events naturally drove us to consider the following question: “What if Le Fooding opened itself up to the world at large?”
Sure, but in what way?
By becoming an international point of reference for the coolest things happening in gastronomy” – that was the hotshot answer whispered to us by the president of Vice, back in 2012 in Brooklyn, with whom we discussed a partnership for a long time before realizing that we were still too fragile to team up with such a power player…
Instead, we reinforced and strengthened our roots, discovered the joys of putting together business plans, achieving results, and once again met with a series of potential investors.
After having ruled out the investment fund option (the surest way to escape the too-often suicidal race towards expansion), we met with various media corporations (and not just Gallic ones), and fell into the arms of a company based in… the Auvergne region.
So, it’s with hearts full of emotion and enthusiasm that we are announcing our partnership with the Michelin Group: publisher, amongst other things, of the famous red guide. The international gold standard of restaurant guides whom we sometimes treated a bit harshly, sparred with often (an attempt to mark our alternative-territory), but always respected. Le Michelin, the only real guide to seriously “do the work” and pay their bills (much like ourselves), who observed us from their volcanic soils without ever spewing lava – a classy move! But it’s also a guide run by a French company, the only one that met our expectations (exceeded them, to be perfectly honest) by offering us real guarantees for a chance at sustainable development and the opportunity to develop internationally with complete independence*, all while providing us with the benefit of their own international experience.
We’ll be back with plenty of good news in a few months, as we concoct a spicy event in Paris on October 23rd, and finish up the next Fooding Guide – released nationally on November 9th. In the meantime, you can rest assured of one thing: contrary to what certain spiteful tongues with little taste might be spitting in your soup, we’re not abandoning you. Just the opposite, in fact.
The taste of the times, stronger and more far-reaching than ever before.
Sincerest tasting pleasures,
The Fooding Team, 2017
*Historic partners, Alexandre Cammas and Marine Bidaud, have retained majority ownership and creative control of the company.
Illustration : © Stéphanie Trapier