Meanwhile, I've been enjoying the Nouvelle République newspaper's articles about the Romorantin Food Festival. Here's another one.
I don't know what “La Palombière” is — is it the name of the prize he won? A palombe is a woodpigeon or ringdove. Or could it be the sculpture that Mr. Rigault created? I guess the writer (Brigitte Vaugeois) felt she needed to mention the runner-up, even if the mention is a complete non sequitur.
Frédéric Junault is the champion
Frédéric Junault of Cheverny in Sologne, who now resides in Paris, is France’s first champion in the art of fruit and vegetable sculpture.
The Romo Food Festival sponsored the competition over the weekend. Five sculptors spent the day on Saturday creating artworks around compulsory themes: a pheasant, a basket of fruit, a cocktail and decorated glasses, a sculpted melon, and a bouquet of flowers.
Frédéric Junault is a professional. He sees fruits and vegetables as a passion, a calling. “All too often fruits and vegetables are trivialized, even though they represent well-being and healthy eating. With today’s equipment and products, it’s no more difficult to make soup than it is to heat up a frozen pizza. Maybe I’m a modern-day Don Quixote, but I preach the cause of things that are difficult to accomplish.” The artist appreciates the initiative of the Romo Food Festival and the support of various national federations: “For fruits and vegetables... bingo!”
For Junault — who works as an event planner and teaches classes — sculpting fulfills a “need to decorate.” A trip to Thailand, which is a mecca for sculptors, was all it took: “In Thailand, there is a reverence for fruits and vegetables, a higher meaning, an entire symbolism that is a part of many cultures. It was a revelation that led me into teaching.” Gérard Rigault won the attendees' prize, “La Palombière.”