Written by 12:14 World

Hold the French Fries! Paris Olympics Chart a New Gastronomic Course.

There will be no French fries for the 15,000 athletes at the Olympic Games that open in France in July. Yes, you read that right.

In what is being called the biggest restaurant in the world — a 700-foot-long former electrical power plant at the heart of the Olympic Village — there will be no foie gras, either, but vegetarian hot dogs and quinoa muesli will abound.

Strolling the length of what is known as the nave, a light-filled vaulted space where some 45,000 meals a day will be served 24/7 throughout the Olympics and Paralympics, Stéphane Chicheri and Charles Guilloy, the chefs in charge, sang the praises of vegetarian shawarma, za’atar-spiced sweet potatoes with hummus, cabbage pickles, beetroot falafel and grilled eggplant with smoked paprika.

This is a far cry from the classic French cuisine of elaborate sauces and “enough melted butter to thrombose a regiment,” as A.J. Liebling once described a dish.

But these are 21st-century Games on a warming planet. Carbon imprint trumps cassoulet. Vegetable protein is the thing; and of course athletes have to perform in a country of a thousand epicurean delights that are no-noes to their exacting nutritionists.

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Last modified: 30 May 2024
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