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A collaboration with Alliance Française
Toque of the Town is a theatrical celebration and tantalizing tribute to the history of French gastronomy. Boasting an on-stage chef, two singers, an instrumental ensemble, and a wonderfully convivial tasting menu at the end of the performance served up by the performers, this is a unique event to suit all lovers of food, wine, theatre and music.
Julie Fioretti, Margoton
Philippe Cantor, Maître d’Hôtel
Denis Leroy, Chef Cuisinier
Patricia Lavail, recorder
Mike Fentross, theorbo
Jay Bernfeld, viola de gamba & direction
Staged by Véronique Samakh
Based on an original recipe by Jay Bernfeld
Scenography Agnès Marin
Costumes Aurélie Chamouard
Lighting Olivier Oudiou
Stage manager Jennifer Montesantos and François Luberne
Take one Party Prince and one golden fingered Chef.
Shake them up with the delightful Margoton, fresh off the farm.
Sprinkle them all with the sweet sounds of recorder, viol and theorbo,
And a smattering of breathtaking baroque music from France….
Voilà, the delicious recipe for Complètement Toqué!
Recently ranked as a world heritage by UNESCO, France’s legendary gastronomic savoir-faire was in large part dreamed up by the culinary wizards who worked their magic at the court of Louis XIV. Remembered for the sauces have inspired today’s Haute Cuisine, their reputations were built on richly appointed tables, as well as dazzling Musical and Theatrical entertainments that spiced up their memorable festive meals. Fuoco E Cenere has concocted a highly original musical entertainment honoring these purveyors of “taste” and shares the stage with Chef Denis Leroy.
The Maître d’Hôtel and Chef are under great pressure to pull off another of their celebrated feasts. Margoton the farm girl, and symbol of France’s great natural bounty, is nowhere to be seen. With her are the products which will be so artfully employed by the Chef under the watchful gaze of the Maître d’Hôtel. The tardy Margoton is forced to stay and lend a hand. Amidst all these splendid recipes the lovelorn Margoton has lost her appetite, but is quickly enticed by a Chocolate Cream recipe whipped up by our two culinary magicians. Inspired by her imaginative friends and their heady creations, Margoton is herself transformed: a baroque My Fair Lady!
To recreate the excitement of preparing one of these special events where music, dance, theatre and fabulously creative food left lasting impressions on the lucky visitors, we have chosen from the many volumes of collected songs published by the Ballard family, instrumental works, airs and ritornellos by Lully, Charpentier and the less well known Pascal Colasse as well as the stunning cantata Zéphire et Flore by Louis Nicolas Clérambault. Descriptions of the banquets come from several of the cookbooks mentioned, and the dance sequence is adapted from the Bourgeois Gentilhomme by the great Molière.
”Dishing up platters of well simmered baroque music – artfully slicing the ingredients into thin strips of staccato – and the whole served all with talent, humour and joie de vivre. What marvelous idea… Straight to the heart, bravo!”
- Jacques Duffourg, Appogiature (May 2013)