The César Awards 2020: Celebrating the Stars at Le Fouqeut’s

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The César Awards 2020: Celebrating the Stars at Le Fouqeut’s
The Césars, AKA “the French Oscars,” are awarded annually by the Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma during a sparkling red carpet ceremony at Salle Pleyel, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, in Paris. So, what’s so special about French Cinema then? “French directors have always known how to perfect the art of entertainment. From love stories and comedies to family films, creative filmmakers often manage to walk the tightrope between serious and entertaining movies. Creating light, funny moments in moving dramas is true art and the French have that down pat,” explains Geraldine Dobey, General Manager of Hotel Barrière Le Fouquet’s. “And, France is a gift for locations,” adds Ms Dobey who hails from Ireland. Le Fouquet’s, located on the Champs Elysées, traditionally hosts the Dîner de Gala created by Pierre Gagnaire, Le Fouquet’s Executive chefs Bruno Gueret & François Xavier Simon, along with a brigade of thousands. Last Sunday at Le Fouquet’s, following the announcement of “Les Nommés” (the contenders), the chefs served an invitation-only celebration lunch (Déjeuner des Nommés) for press, stars/celebs, actors, producers, and technicians nominated for awards by the 4313 members of the Académie des Césars. During the lunch, each Nommé(e) received a Certificate of Nomination and each film with at least one nomination can be seen at the achingly hip left bank cinema Les 3 Luxembourg, part of L’Année Cinema César, from 12-25 February 2020. Info on www.academie-cinema.org. Of the lunch, Gagnaire explained: “This year I decided to send out a sustainable vegetarian menu starring wonderful “forgotten” winter root vegetables – and to flag up new flavors.” Hardly surprising as PG has always been a forward-thinking setter of culinary trends. The starter, delicate Bavaroise of Jerusalem Artichoke, was punctuated with braised daikon radish, a drizzle of maple syrup/yellow mango/green apple and cucumber. Paired with Champagne Comtesse de Cerhes. The main of cabbage was stuffed with cabbage (yes, it works, I want the recipe), poised on a delicate, pearl, white cabbage velouté, perfect with Baronne Charlotte 2017, AOC Graves. And dessert? Variations on a theme of L’Opéra – more champagne, of course! The question everyone was asking: Will they dare to go veggie for the Gala Dinner? It’s a secret; “we’re waiting for feedback from today,” admitted Bruno Guéret. Whatever, César and Le Fouquet’s go hand in hand. Just take a look at the copper “Walk of Fame” at the entrance to the world’s most iconic brasserie. The “walk” was created by Maurice Casanova, who acquired Le Fouquet’s in 1976 and welcomed the César awards and Le Dejeuner des Nommés. The rest, as they say, is history. Anna Karina (icon of the French new wave cinema) is 2020’s poster girl (from an image shot by Georges Dambier) for the 45th César Ceremony. The Danish born avant-garde actress, director, writer, singer (1940-2019) was the muse/wife of Jean Luc-Godard; her besties were Serge Gainsbourg, Coco Chanel, Pierre Cardin etc. This year the 45th Céremonie des César, with President Sandrine Kiberlaine and Mistress of Ceremonies Florence Foresti, takes place on February 28th, 2020. So, cinéphiles, look out for the following: (And watch live (en clair) on Canal+ from 9 pm.) BEST DIRECTOR NICOLAS BEDOS – LA BELLE ÉPOQUE FRANÇOIS OZON – GRÂCE À DIEU ERIC TOLEDANO, OLIVIER NAKACHE – HORS NORMES ROMAN POLANSKI – J’ACCUSE LADJ LY – LES MISÉRABLES CÉLINE SCIAMMA – PORTRAIT DE LA JEUNE FILLE EN FEU ARNAUD DESPLECHIN – ROUBAIX, UNE LUMIÈRE BEST ACTRESS ANAÏS DEMOUSTIER – ALICE ET LE MAIRE EVA GREEN – PROXIMA ADÈLE HAENEL – PORTRAIT DE LA JEUNE FILLE EN FEU CHIARA MASTROIANNI – CHAMBRE 212 NOÉMIE MERLANT – PORTRAIT DE LA JEUNE FILLE EN FEU DORIA TILLIER – LA BELLE ÉPOQUE KARIN VIARD – CHANSON DOUCE BEST ACTOR DANIEL AUTEUIL – LA BELLE ÉPOQUE DAMIEN BONNARD – LES MISÉRABLES VINCENT CASSEL – HORS NORMES JEAN DUJARDIN – J’ACCUSE REDA KATEB – HORS NORMES MELVIL POUPAUD – GRÂCE À DIEU ROSCHDY ZEM – ROUBAIX, UNE LUMIÈRE BEST FOREIGN FILM PAIN AND GLORY, director: Pedro Almodovar LE JEUNE AHMED, directors: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne JOKER, director: Todd Phillips LOLA VERS LA MER, director: Laurent Micheli ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD, director: Quentin Tarantino PARASITE, director: Bong Joon-Ho THE TRAITOR, director: Marco Bellocchio BEST DOCUMENTARY 68, MON PÈRE ET LES CLOUS, director: Samuel Bigiaoui LA CORDILLÈRE DES SONGES, director: Patricio Guzman LOURDES, directors: Thierry Demaizière, Alain Teurlai M, dir: Yolande Zauberman WONDER BOY OLIVIER ROUSTEING, NÉ SOUS X, director: Anissa Bonnefont BEST FIRST FILM ATLANTIQUE (Atlantics), director: Mati Diop NOM DE LA TERRE, director: Edouard Bergeon LE CHANT DU LOUP, director: Antonin Baudry LES MISERABLES, director: Ladj Ly PAPICHA, director: Mounia Meddour BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY NICOLAS BEDOS – LA BELLE ÉPOQUE FRANÇOIS OZON – GRÂCE À DIEU ERIC TOLEDANO, OLIVIER NAKACHE – HORS NORMES LADJ LY, GIORDANO GEDERLINI, ALEXIS MANENTI – LES MISÉRABLES CÉLINE SCIAMMA – PORTRAIT DE LA JEUNE FILLE EN FEU BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY COSTA-GAVRAS – ADULTS IN THE ROOM ROMAN POLANSKI, ROBERT HARRIS – J’ACCUSE JÉRÉMY CLAPIN, GUILLAUME LAURANT – J’AI PERDU MON CORPS ARNAUD DESPLECHIN, LÉA MYSIUS – ROUBAIX, UNE LUMIÈRE DOMINIK MOLL, GILLES MARCHAND – SEULES LES BÊTES BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS FANNY ARDANT – LA BELLE ÉPOQUE JOSIANE BALASKO – GRÂCE À DIEU LAURE CALAMY – SEULES LES BÊTES SARA FORESTIER – ROUBAIX, UNE LUMIÈRE HÉLÈNE VINCENT – HORS NORMES BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR SWANN ARLAUD – GRÂCE À DIEU GRÉGORY GADEBOIS – J’ACCUSE LOUIS GARREL – J’ACCUSE BENJAMIN LAVERNHE – MON INCONNUE DENIS MÉNOCHET – GRÂCE À DIEU
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Lead photo credit : Déjeuner des Nommés at Fouquet's. Photo: Margaret Kemp

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Born in Hampton, Middlesex, UK, Margaret Kemp is a lifestyle journalist, based between London, Paris and the world. Intensive cookery courses at The Cordon Bleu, London, a wedding gift from a very astute ex-husband, gave her the base that would take her travelling (leaving the astute one behind) in search of rare food and wine experiences, such as the vineyards of Thailand, 'gator hunting in South Florida, learning to make eye-watering spicy food in Kerala;pasta making in a tiny Tuscany trattoria. She has contributed to The Guardian, The Financial Times Weekend and FT. How To Spend It.com, The Spectator, Condé Nast Traveller, Food & Travel, and Luxos Magazine. She also advises as consultant to luxury hotels and restaurants. Over the years, Kemp has amassed a faithful following on BonjourParis. If she were a dish she'd be Alain Passard's Millefeuille “Caprice d'Enfant”, as a painting: Manet’s Dejeuner sur l’herbe !