Haute couture meets haute cuisine in Paris

To celebrate two allied crafts, both of which have a long and storied history in France, Paris will be hosting the first combined culinary and couture show next week in which some of the most iconic fashion and pastry houses collaborate for an outdoor, sensory exhibit.

In the grandeur of the city's Palais Royal, fashion houses like Christian Dior and French celebrity chefs like Jean-Francois Piège and Jean-Georges Vongerichten will exhibit their interpretations of how haute cuisine and haute couture merge.

Though the raw materials may be different, artisans in both trades must master techniques, a "savoir-faire" and possess a vision to reach the height of their craft, organizers point out.

Vintage Christian Dior outfits from the 1960s spring/summer collection themed, "Salad," for instance, will line the arcades that border the gardens.

Chef Vincent Lemains of gourmet pastry boutique Ladurée, will also showcase Haute Cuisine with dessert samples every day.

In an ode to the chef's coat - the white uniform that represents status and authority in the kitchen - chefs Jean-Francois Piège and Jean-Georges Vongerichten will also prepare "un diner blanc," or white dinner in collaboration with fashion house Maison Martin Margiela, whose signature label consists of nothing more than a blank, white tag or label. Sales associates in Margiela boutiques also wear lab coats for uniforms.

Jean-Francois Piège is a celebrity chef in France who makes frequent TV appearances and has a restaurant in Paris's Hotel Thoumieux.

Jean-Georges Vongerichten is known for his Asian fusion cuisine and owns establishments around the world, including his eponymously named restaurant in New York City, and Shanghai.

Last year, French gastronomy was added into UNESCO's intangible cultural heritage of humanity list, recognizing the cultural importance it plays and its distinctive fixed structure: French meals typically start with an aperitif (drinks before the meal), four successive courses like a starter, fish or meat dish with vegetables, cheese plate and dessert.

The first Haute Cuisine Paris opens July 7 and ends July 10 and is in partnership with the French ministry of culture. The first two days are reserved for professionals, while the weekend events will be open to the public.

Price of admission is €10. For more info, visit http://www.hautecuisineparis.com/.

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