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Jaunts: in and around the Valley

Plenty of Pate and Pastries

Food and wine will be focus at French-American school celebration.

June 11, 1998|Irene Garcia | Times Staff Writer

Parlez-vous francais? No, it won't be necessary if you're planning to enjoy "A Taste of France" on Saturday at the campus of Lycee International de Los Angeles near Griffith Park.

The private French-American school is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a big bash on its 6-acre campus overlooking the city.

Just bring along a big appetite and the desire to immerse yourself in French culture. More than 15 food booths will be selling French delicacies, and, for those who overindulge, there will be free passes to work off some of the pounds at a local gym.

You may need to after this feast. Freshly made crepes, pate and pastries will abound and, of course, there will be baskets of buttery croissants and crusty baguettes.

Oh, and what's a French party without plenty of Bordeaux and Burgundy wines?

"It doesn't exist," said event organizer Marie-Doree Lambert. "There will be lots and lots of great French wine."

But the food is the highlight of the festival, which is how it got its name. You can even learn to make French cuisine from renowned chefs who will answer questions and give cooking tips.

Pascal Olhats, president of the French Chef's Assn. will bring along several of his favorite creations for sampling. Among them are ratatouille Provencale, a vegetable stew, and tomato tartelette with basil pesto.

"In the morning, under the shower is the best time for me to get creative," said Olhats, who owns a restaurant in Newport Beach. "That's when I've come up with some of my best dishes."

Phillippe Renard, the chef at a Paris hotel, also has some great recipes he'll present Saturday. Throughout the day he will share his culinary expertise with the public, demonstrating how to make many of the foods regularly served at the hotel.

Josette Leblond knows all about the importance of ingredients. When she came to California from France 12 years ago, she made pate for the Queen Mary restaurant for about $3 an hour.

Today, she owns a company that makes more than 80 pates, with an estimated $1.8 in annual sales. It's all in the ingredients, she says.

Her famous Normandie pates and many of the pastries made at her L.A. bakery will be on sale Saturday.

For those interested in how the French dress, there will be a fashion show of French designer clothing. You can also purchase a French massage or manicure and enjoy a performance by French singer Monique Loiselle.

Those who enjoy viewing popular French sites can browse through artist Richard Ewen's color renderings of some of the country's well-known storefronts, cityscapes and landscapes. His work will be for sale.

For the kids, there will be a petting zoo, pony rides, face painting and a showing of French cartoons. Day care will also be available for a small fee.

By the time you leave, you should at least know a few French words. To assure proper pronunciation, teachers from the school will give free lessons.

Send Jaunts ideas, allowing at least two weeks' notice, to staff writer Irene Garcia at The Times, 20000 Prairie St., Chatsworth 91311. Or send e-mail to Irene.Garcia@latimes.com.

BE THERE

"A Taste of France" at Lycee International de Los Angeles, 4155 Russell Ave. French food, wine, entertainment and children's activities. Free admission and parking. Information: (213) 663-1453 or on the Web, http://www.tasteoffrance.com.

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