Alliance Francaise de Sydney held a FREE talk followed by a Q&A and book signing with Manu Fieldel on Tuesday April 15 at 10:30 and 12:30 on Clarence Street to launch ‘French for Everyone’.
“The Alliance Française de Sydney is an independent, not-for-profit language and cultural organisation promoting Franco-Australian exchange since 1895. With an ambitious mission to spread the French language and culture well beyond the borders of France, it is one of the 1040 Alliances Françaises existing in 136 countries all over the world.”
Manu Feildel is well known for his role as a co-host on Channel 7’s My Kitchen Rules, Channel 10’s Ready Steady Cook, and for his three hatted restaurant and newly opened French bistro in Melbourne.
Today we were here not only to meet the colourful circus character but to also celebrate the launch of his third book, French for Everyone. He is also the author of ‘Lantern Cookery Classics: Menu Feildel, Manu’s French Bistro and Manu’s French Kitchen.
It was pretty exciting going to Alliance Francaise again after those uni trivia nights and famous staircase placed at the front as you walk in.
There’s a delightful cafe on the ground floor with many conversations en francaise over un cafe. It was hilarious because my friend was in the toilet and Manu arrived and I was literally screaming ‘Ahhhh he is here!!!!’
Anyways, long story short, Manu and I were standing next to each other in the lift #winning He is actually really tall!
We walked into a room full of <fan girls>. Manu waited in the corner while the rest of us were buzzing with excitement to meet him.
Firstly, the director of Alliance Francaise gave a short introduction and of course a call for parents to get their kids to do some French courses, particularly over the holidays. This guy is so much easier to work with and has changed AF a lot and I’m really liking it! It was previously very strict and university societies weren’t offered much over the past few years.
Then Manu took the stage. Ok, I can not replicate what he said here are the top 10 fun facts:
1. Manu always wanted to be a circus performer hence the name of his newly opened restaurant in Melbourne, Le Grand Cirque , which means ‘The Circus’ in English
2. Manu would bathe in a bathtub full of chocolate
3. Manu always has one block of butter and 5 blocks in the freezer. It’s an essential in his cuisine
4. Butter, chocolate and champagne is enough to satisfy Manu
5. Manu will try any dish in the world provided it is cooked by someone…maybe except pig tripe…
6. French cooking in households is not hard at all! Having lived in a French house myself, I completely agree with this. Most people have a perspective that it’s all cream and cheese but you think of steak. It’s average. But when you think of steak, chips and wine, then that’s a memorable dish.
7. Manu’s father, grandfather, great grandfather were all chefs. He brought up the interesting point that chefs were seen as slaves back in the days. Now, it’s a celebrated ritual and he absolutely loves his job.
8. My Kitchen Rules is a tough competition. You need to learn how to cook and be entertaining. Manu would never be on the show. Dancing with the Stars was enough for him
9. Manu left school at the age of 16 to do what he loved. He arrived in Australia 14 years ago and loves it here too much!
10. Manu loves eating. He would not mind buying two seats on a plane for himself and his million dollar belly baby.
There was a Q&A afterwards for more than half an hour and it was just filled with laughs and giggles. It kinda sucked how some people asked if he was using organic food, or will eat meat free but everyone is different and he doesn’t go with the trend, he has his own trend.
Afterwards my friend and I bought his ‘French for Everyone’ supplied by Abbey’s Books.
There was a very sweet arrangement and unfortunately the eftpos wasn’t working so they had to do it manually.
There was a mad rush to the line for him to sign our books. We didn’t think to purchase the books earlier but we weren’t pressed for time.
It was a very joyful morning and what a great way to start the day! Thanks a Alliance Francaise and Manu!
Review Rating: =D =) =| =(
Product (‘French for Everyone’ book launch at Alliance Francaise): =D
Would I go to another book launch run by Alliance Francaise? Yes! If only Manu came again!! He is such a great entertainer and knows how to answer questions. Everything was run smoothly and I can’t wait for AF to do another one! Thank goodness they opened up a 10:30am time.
Would I donate the money saved to the organiser/my charity? Apparently the recommended retail price for ‘French for Everyone’ is $50 and we bought it for $45. I would’ve definitely given $5 back to AF. Experiences like these are priceless.
Highlight: Q&A was the bomb. The audience was hilarious and asked all these ridiculous questions like what he would never eat, what he would always eat, his favourite contestants on MKR, when the tv series will be on tv… and Manu would equally answer in a funny way. He would never eat nothing and will always try anything even cockroaches if he was given them now, he even said that he has size 43 shoes and his waistline is 38 but used to be 34 when he was on Dancing with the Stars. What a star.
Suggestion of improvement: I have no idea! Some croissants would not hurt but maybe if the eftpos machine was working? Thoroughly enjoyed it!
Ends: April 15, 2014