FRANCE has always felt their cuisine the best in the world, but is it something that should be included in UNESCO's world heritage list?
Presisdent Nicolas Sarkozy certainly thinks so, as he has called upon UNESCO to include French gastronomy in its cultural list.
In 2006 a similar step was undertaken by top French academics, chefs and connoisseurs but no gastronomic tradition has made it on to UNESCO's list and in 2005 a similar bid by Mexico was rejected.
The UNESCO cultural list has specific requisites to accept a nomination for the list.
'The 2003 Convention defines ICH as the practices, representations, expressions, as well as the knowledge and skills, that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognise as part of their cultural heritage.
The definition also indicates that the ICH to be safeguarded by this Convention:
is transmitted from generation to generation;
is constantly recreated by communities and groups, in response to their environment, their interaction with nature, and their history;
provides communities and groups with a sense of identity and continuity;
promotes respect for cultural diversity and human creativity;
is compatible with international human rights instruments;
complies with the requirements of mutual respect among communities, and of sustainable development. '
The cultural list includes:
Oral traditions and expressions
Social practices, rituals and festive events
Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe
Bruno Menard, head chef at the prestigious French restaurant L'Osier in Tokyo, believes the bid could be accepted.
On the other hand The Slow Food Movement, an international organisation for food and agriculture, reject France's bid on the basis that it is wrong to rank world cuisines.
In an interview with France24, Slow Food's President Jean L'hériter said: "French gastronomy is definitely worth preserving but we can't call it the best in the world. How can we claim its the best in the world?"
France and President Sarkozy will have to wait until the end of 2009 before a decision is made.
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