As far as entertainment was concerned, a very full programme had been drawn up thanks to the School’s network and to its teams. But above all the delegations went to much trouble to present, as part of the exhibition, an overview of the culinary specialities of their country; however they also had on display a profusion of tourist brochures which in the case of some stands had little to do with the subject of Christmas.
ENTERTAINMENT - DEMONSTRATIONS
From vine to glass
Two workshops aimed at teachers were timetabled on the programme. The first was on the subject of wine, with Yvon Gary, a wine-studies teacher freshly returned from Australia where he had accompanied one of his students who had won a competition. It was a very popular workshop during which the teacher enthusiastically explained to around 20 participants all the subtleties of wine, from the vine to the glass. And as you would expect there was a tasting at the end of the workshop.
Provençal specialities by the dozen!
The second workshop was run by culinary arts teacher Bernard Vergier, who introduced us ‘students’ to a whole series of Provençal specialities, aided by a slide show – ‘much better than a lecture’, as he rightly said. But his lecture was complemented by an explanatory booklet of each recipe and, of course, a tasting of the final product. (http://www.bernardvergier.fr)
WHAT’S EUROPE THEN?
In the lecture theatre filled almost to capacity, Alain Pierre Merger, President of the ‘Maison de l’Europe en Provence’ (Provence European Centre) flanked by Cyril Robin-Champigneul, head of the European Commission’s regional representative body, and by Edita Bednarek, a Polish placement student, gave a convincing exposé of the great adventure that is Europe.
His audience consisted mostly of pupils and students, for many of whom this immersion in the workings and ideals of Europe was a great revelation. While speaking of the rights and duties of every European citizen, Alain-Pierre Merger mentioned in particular the ‘exceptional event’ that he was attending. ‘Europe must be joyful, Europe can be built only if its citizens get together,’ he emphasised, issuing this encouragement to his audience: ’It is up to you to build Europe, to make it a reality, that is your European citizenship.’
After this lecture Alain Pierre Merger, flanked by his vice-president René Lippi and by Cyril Robin-Champigneul, awarded the medal of the ‘Maison de l’Europe de Provence’ to Jean-Louis Ivaldi, Head of the School’s Catering Department, and to Christiane Keller, founder and promoter of Christmas in Europe.