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Ambassador to celebrate at French Fest at Akaroa

Date: 4 September 2008

CCC Media Release

French Ambassador to celebrate French flavours at French Fest at Akaroa

The French Ambassador to New Zealand, Monsieur Michel Legras is set to share his French culinary expertise at a cooking demonstration during French Fest celebrations in Akaroa, Canterbury.

The Ambassador and his private chef, Ms Veronique Suazeau will join international award-winning New Zealand chefs Tina Duncan (White Tie), Phillip Kraal (Le Bon Bolli) and Tony Smith (the Crowne Plaza Hotel) for a series of French cooking master classes. Together they will bring a range of classic French flavours to the picturesque Canterbury township which will become a haven for French affectionados and lovers of good food on October, 10 &11.

Now in its 11th year, French Fest is the pinnacle event on Akaroa's calendar attracting thousands of visitors every year.

The township's French connection dates back to 1840 when the ship, the "Compte de Paris" arrived with a group of French colonists who discovered the area had already been taken by Britain. They settled in Akaroa under the protection of the British and gave it the unmistakably French character that is celebrated to this day.

French Fest launches with due pomp and ceremony on Friday, October 10 with the official raising of the flags of France and New Zealand, a powhiri from local Ngai Tahu, a welcome from the French Ambassador and a parade by the New Zealand Army Band.

On Saturday, October 10 the town will feature a traditional French market place with the region's best fresh produce, meats, breads and wines on offer, roving entertainment, a French waiters Race hosted by the Motley Deux and a re-enactment of the original French landing in Akaroa.

At the Recreation Ground a circus tent will offer a full programme of vaudeville-style acts for young and old while the children's tent, "Les Enfants" will keep little ones amused with storytelling, magic, clowns and juggling. Outdoor entertainment will include the classic French pastime of Pétanque and, for those with a bit more time to spare, Le Snail Race.


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