What started out as a practical university project, is set to become a new annual celebration of Niçois culinary culture while supporting charity
Among the many fine features that the beautiful city of Nice offers, two stand out: deep love for its culinary traditions, and great generosity. Combining the two in a meaningful project therefore only seemed natural to a group of local students at Institut Universitaire de Technologie, and it was thus that the Journées Niçoises Solidaires (Nice Solidarity Days) were created. The two-day charity event is held at Forum Jorge François on June 9 and 10 as the first in a planned annual series.
Fun and heritage take centre stage throughout the event: a communal Friday lunch at the Forum restaurant features a menu à la nissarda (pissaladière, gnocchi, and pan fruchat) at the modest price of €11, and for every five meals sold, a free meal is set aside for a person in need. The Forum’s regular chef Philippe Bouchet is supported by a high-caliber commis: Franck Viano, winner of the popular cooking show Un Diner Presque Parfait (or Come Dine With Me for UK viewers).
Under the motto “Journée Niss’Arts”, Saturday continues in good taste, featuring a cooking competition around Niçois culinary specialties, to be judged by a high-calibre expert jury, as well as stands showcasing local products from socca chips to socca beer. The resident theatre company under the leadership of acting coach Henri Concas also has some surprises in store. And a fundraising tombola, benefitting children suffering from cancer via local non-profit organization Tous Avec Hugo, is studded with some amazing prizes donated by high profile sponsors: OGC Nice is sending three autographed footballs as well as a genuine Balotelli jersey signed by Mario the Great himself, and several local restaurants are offering meals for two. Other valuable prizes include wine gift boxes, a DVD player, an iPad, and an original framed photograph by Franco-Syrian artist Khaled Youssef, to name but a few.
The City of Nice throws its full support behind the event through two high-ranking delegates: city councilor Jean-Luc Gagliolo serves as the event’s president, and Franck Viano of the city’s Health and Independent Living department is the designated emcee. A big Thank You to all sponsors, supporters, volunteers, and of course to Pascal Schiavone, Titouan Ravaux, Mathieu Girardin, Hugo Varlet and Thomas Viano, the talented IUT students who initiated this terrific event. But at the end of the day, it’s the visitors who make its success, so do come and share the pleasure of good eats and good deeds all rolled into one.
The Friday lunch has sold out but you may still make reservations for Saturday by emailing cuisine.nicoise06[at]gmail[dot]com
All images courtesy Journées Niçoises Solidaires