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Taste the World in Marseille

Dinner, Talk

Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours
1133 Huff Rd NW #D

June 18, 2024 | 6:30pm


Join Villa Albertine and the VanTrece Hospitality Group for a dinner celebrating food, culture, and Vérane Frédiani’s new book on Marseille’s multicultural culinary scene. This event will include a conversation with the author and a collaborative 8-course tasting menu prepared by iconic Atlanta chef Deborah VanTrece and Congolese chef Hugues Mbenda from Marseille.

Taste the World in Marseille (2024, Abrams Books) is an illustrated cookbook by Vérane Frédiani which offers insights into the multicultural cuisine of Marseille, France’s oldest and second-largest city. Though renowned for its Mediterranean character and vibrant diversity, Marseille remains little understood despite being at the forefront of French cuisine.

The event will kick off at 6:30pm with a discussion with author Vérane Frédiani, translator Alexis Steinman, and Chef Deborah VanTrece on the role of multiculturalism in gastronomy today, moderated by Mike Jordan, Senior Editor at the Atlanta Journal Constitution. 

Then, at 7pm, we will begin the 8-course tasting menu prepared by chefs Deborah VanTrece and Hugues Mbenda. Each chef will concept and execute 1 passed hors d’oeuvre and 4 dishes inspired by Vérane Frédiani’s book, Taste the World in Marseille. This unique collaboration between Mbenda’s Franco-Congolese cuisine and VanTrece’s globally-influenced soul food will celebrate the multiculturalism of Marseille and Atlanta—and the power of food to connect us. 

The dinner will be ticketed at a cost of $175 for 8 courses paired with French wine or $135 for 8 courses paired with sparkling water or iced tea. Reserve your spot today!

During the evening, we will also host a book signing with the author, Vérane Frédiani, and the translator of the English version, Alexis Steinman. Our partner bookstore, A Cappella Books, will be on-site selling copies of Taste the World in Marseille.

This event is part of City/Cité Atlanta x Marseille, Villa Albertine’s transatlantic cooperation and exchange program on urban issues and city making. Launched in 2022, exchanges between these two cities notably explore the fertile relationships between culture and ecology, as well as urban policy and communities, and their ability to transform the way we make cities. 

Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours is a Michelin-recommended modern, global soul food restaurant from iconic Atlanta chef Deborah VanTrece. Situated in the Westside’s historic district of Blandtown, one of the first Black neighborhoods in Atlanta, Twisted Soul features creative modern interpretations and global influences on traditional Southern dishes.

Chef Deborah VanTrece is one of the most recognized culinary personalities in the South and founder of the VanTrece Hospitality Group, which includes the Michelin-recommended modern, global soul food restaurant, Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours. Deborah is the author of The Twisted Soul Cookbook: Modern Soul Food with Global Flavors (Rizzoli, 2021). She will host a special dinner event at her restaurant Twisted Soul in Atlanta in collaboration with French chef Hugues Mbenda as part of the “Taste the World in Marseille” publishing promotion.  

Chef Hugues Mbenda, a Congolese chef at the helm of the Kin and Limbala restaurants in Marseille, has been distinguished as one of the most promising chefs in the world in 2023. After years of experience in Paris, Bordeaux, and London, he became the head chef of Michelin-starred Le Céladon at Hôtel Westminster in Paris. Today in Marseille, he highlights a creative and mixed cuisine, serving as a bridge between his Congolese origins, Mediterranean products, and the know-how he has acquired in top restaurants. Hugues is featured in the book “Taste the World in Marseille.” 

Vérane Frédiani is the Marseille-born author of Taste the World in Marseille. A producer, director, editor, journalist, author, and photographer. Recently she focused her career on creating documentaries and writing books on gastronomy. In 2017 she filmed the documentary “The Goddesses of Food” with chefs Alice Waters, Dominique Crenn and Amanda Cohen among many other international women chefs. The film is available on Apple TV. 

Alexis Steinman, an American food and travel writer based in Marseille, has had her work published in Roads & Kingdoms, Saveur, Atlas Obscura, Lonely Planet, and The Globe and Mail. Proud to have translated Vérane Frédiani’s Taste the World in Marseille, the first English book about Marseille cuisine, she leads food tours as the Marseille Bureau Chief of Culinary Backstreets. 

Mike Jordan is a senior editor at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, leading the Black culture team. He is well-known in the Atlanta community and beyond for his roles that have continuously touched Atlanta’s Black culture for many years. He’s served as a writer, editor and leader for varied publications.

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