France News Daily May 9-15

France News Daily May 9-15
Massive Anish Kapoor art exhibition floods Grand Palais with neon color BonjourParis France News Daily Dali Wiederhoft PARIS, May 12—The annual Grand Palais Museum exhibition “Monumenta” opened yesterday and the “Leviathan” installation by sculptor Anish Kapoor is already being hailed as an important “don’t miss” art event. Every year the museum challenges artists to create a large piece that fills the entire space up to its spectacular glass dome ceiling, which is about 115 feet or ten stories high. Le Figaro described this, the fourth show, as a “spectacular dive in a prehistoric cave.” Le Figaro interviewed Kapoor in his studio before the exhibition opened and France24 English-language news showed the Grand Palais installation starting at :50 in this France24 video interview with the artist. “Monumenta 2011” with Anish Kapoor’s “Leviathan” at the Grand Palais, Paris 8th, is open daily except Tuesdays from May 11 to June 23 Practical Information for Grand Palais visitors                 Paris: City of Light, City of Dark . . . Chocolate BonjourParis France News Daily Dali Wiederhoft PARIS, May 11—Step aside Belgium and Switzerland, French chocolate from Paris is the new media darling. Chanel fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld’s latest creation is  “The Magnum Chocolate Suite”  constructed entirely of over 10 tons of imported chocolate, according to the Daily Telegraph. It’s a sales promotion for Magnum Ice Cream, so of course there is a public Facebook page with three videos conceived by Lagerfeld and starring young actress Rachel Bilson. Master chocolatier and chocolate sculptor Patrick Roger sculpted the room seemingly built to showcase a life-size figure of a male model (and Lagerfeld’s muse) holding a chocolate ice cream treat while reclined on an all-chocolate bed. SKY NEWS shot video of the suite. Choco-manie in Paris Fox News recently ran a story extolling the virtues of French chocolate. They went so far as to credit President Nicolas Sarkozy, reportedly a chocolate fan of epic status, and the annual Salon du Chocolat for inspiring Paris “choco-manie.” But there are likely two reasons: the superior chocolate beans used as the base of fine French chocolates, and the comparatively large number of creative chocolatiers based in Paris is unrivaled in any other major world capital city. Chocolate superstars Jean-Paul Hevin, Pierre Hermé and Christian Constant are elevated beyond top chef status in France and around the world. Some best chocolate makers make their chocolate from imported top-quality beans they roast themselves. Others use quality French chocolate, Valrhona, to create dark, intense chocolate they blend with any imaginable flavor—floral essences, liquors, spices, wine and, yes, even cheese. Creamy milk chocolate candies produced by the Belgians and Swiss are considered fattening, too sweet and old-fashioned. No news about pain de chocolate Today The Times of Johannesburg, South Africa lamented the lack of publicity for French pain de chocolate. So, like all trends, choco-manie could be a fast and fickle phase, but it does seem to have at least temporarily quieted buzz about the overly-hyped Paris macarons and cupcakes.   Montmartre boulangerie Au Levain d’Antan wins 2011 Best Baguette in Paris award BonjourParis France News Daily Dali Wiederhoft PARIS, May 9— Pascal Barillon of Au Levain d’Antan has won the 2011 Grand Prix de la Baguette de la Ville de Paris. This was the eighth time the Montmartre baker has competed for the Best Baguette of Paris prize. The 174 entries received were judged on weight, length, golden appearance, crisp exterior, chewy interior, good taste and small. Criteria were firmly enforced by a judging panel that included the 2010 winner. Winning is an honor to both the boulangerie and its customers, who may then boast that their neighborhood boulangerie sells the best baguettes in Paris. Au Levain d’Antan is located at 6, re des Abbesses, Paris 18th. For the next year the winner will supply the Élysée Palace with bread served to President Sarkozy and guests. The competition was started in 1994. Here is a video clip showing registration, judging process and winner: Euronews video. Additional content from The Guardian.   Looking for more serious news? Check our Sunday weekly French News round-up with a summary of French media reports on current affairs and topics of the day.    

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