Marseille is a remarkable city. For the past ten years, it has really been revealed to gastronomy. But what makes its richness is its multiple side which is one. Marseille cooks the world, Vérane Frédiani’s latest beautiful book, which has just been published, shows this in the most beautiful way…
In 1997, the group Massilia Sound System began one of their flagship song with the following lyrics: “The big city, where I was born, called Marseille by the French – Gateway to Africa since antiquity, it was built by immigrants – For a long time it has lived in peace with respect for all communities – But for ten years, in people’s heads, strange ideas are beginning to sprout.” committed group, Massilia (as the fans say) defends in a frenetic rub-a-dub, for almost 37 years, its city and its inhabitants against the ideas of the far right and sings its sea as no one had ever done. Their last album, Bad Caracter, just got out. It’s time to get started when you don’t know them and especially in this troubled political period.
Another lover of her city, Vérane Frédiani. The author / director has just published, with the editions of Martinière, a sublime book which sums up Marseille all by itself: Marseille cooks the world. A bit like a documentary that it could have become, Vérane Frédiani – who we know well for other editorial publications: Steak (r)evolution (which is also a documentary) or even the book Chiefs which lists 500 women chefs who count in France today – offers both a book of 75 recipes, but above all a book that makes you want to live in Marseille and (re)discover this city of absolute human and gastronomic wealth . Book portrait of sixty people from Marseille who are today the gourmet image of the city, we talk more about the Human and the way in which today Marseille is really present on the French gastronomic scene.
Originally from Marseille, Vérane has now lived in London for five years. Far from the Mediterranean, from the accent, from the smells and from the people: “This allows us to have a slightly different vision of its evolution. It’s a city that makes sense to me now that I live elsewhere.” and add by comparing “In London, I like the international, multicultural side, the mixing and valuing of all cuisines… and the integration that is done a lot through the culinary culture of the different communities. That, I find in Marseilles. »
For a long time Marseille, as well as a large part of the south, rested a little on its Old Port, its sun and its Mediterranean, forgetting a little to renew itself. However, for the past fifteen years, a new generation of Marseilles (local or from elsewhere and even from Paris, that is to say…) wishes to bring it back to the fore in the same way as a Lyon falling asleep from more and more on its laurels Bocusiens: “Casing nothing, today there is a little more investment, more women who are becoming more professional and opening their own restaurant. It highlights this mixture and today for me, it is a model”, explains the author of this beautiful book.
Still regularly present in her hometown, Vérane Frédiani is an observer of these changes: “The people of Marseille took time to appropriate the new districts around the Mucem (note: Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizationscreated in 2013) including the harbor terraces. Today, the triggering is done. We have always been very proud of Marseille, but it was not a city of gastronomy. Today, the Marseillais go out more to go to the restaurant, change neighborhood, it’s really a new way of life for them “ and adds “ we could say somewhere that Alexandre Mazzia gave and restored confidence to the Marseillais. “. New places, new night bars, new pizzerias (very important pizzerias when you are in Marseille…), many novelties in five-six years have pushed the Marseillais to take control of their gastronomy(ies).
Marseille cooks the world was born in Vérane’s imagination around 2017-2018 when she already saw her city changing: “I thought it would be interesting to talk about Marseille without writing yet another Provençal or Marseille cookbook. I wanted to play on the fact of saying that it’s Berlin, London, Tel-Aviv and… Marseille, in the middle. It is a “new” culinary city. »
For the choice of portraits present in the book, Vérane Frédiani also wanted to put women in the spotlight as she had been able to do in Chiefs. It is precisely through this door that she entered, with the help of Laetitia Visse, the chef of the restaurant The Butcher’s Wife, settled in Marseille for a little over a year. Laetitia Visse is not from Marseilles and this is precisely what interested the author: “ I did his interview for Cheffes and it really fed me. How does someone who arrives to open his restaurant see the city? What is his project?… I thought it was brilliant! When I signed up for this book, I went back to see her…” Logical continuation for the author of Chiefsit was obvious to put Marseille women in equal parts in this new book: “It’s a city where there are a lot of women chefs, a lot of women in rap, a lot of women in fashion. As it is a less expensive city, they have the opportunity to undertake…”
In each person who arrives in Marseille to settle there and build something, there is, above all, someone who wants to become a Marseille native. She quickly finds some details of At her place. So when Vérane meets the Syrian restaurant managers Ashurya – three sons who have taken over the restaurant opened by their mother – Magd, one of the sons interviewed, does not hesitate to answer the question “Was there anything that surprised you in Marseille? : “The Marseille mentality is close to my country. But the most surprising thing is that everyone here thinks that. Everyone says: Marseille, it looks like my country.” “. “Marseille is the exchange. People talk easily. Yes, it’s a bit filthy, a bit chaotic at times, but that’s life today… the sanitized side, we’re fed up and no one really recognizes themselves in it, “ explains the author.
“A real Marseille is someone who supports OM” says to us in laughing Vérane Frediani “everyone can say within 1, 2, 3 generations where their grandparents come from, but they were rarely born in Marseille”. And yet… If for thirty years the ideas of the extreme right have infiltrated more and more in Marseilles, the book of Vérane Frédiani perhaps shows the remedy: “I wanted to put everything anti-RN in this book. Afterwards, it is the politicians who caricature the situation. In Marseille, people are mixed, they talk to each other. Of course, we are not all going to spend our weekends in the northern districts… But for example, Coline Faulquier had her first restaurant in the northern districts and it was a hit! Opposing people will not lead to anything good…”. Verane admits it “This book is quite political. The model described there works”.
Marseille is not a city like the others in France. It is both multiple and totally unitary in a spirit that only comes on the spot. All his cuisines are one, that of Marseille, that of the world.
Marseille cooks the world makes you want to be from Marseille, Marseille cooks the world makes you want to be adopted by all the people that Vérane Frédiani portrays. We like to sit down to taste feet packetsa greek taramawe get caught up in a bouillabaisseno… by a veal tagine with quinceor even by mantis, these little Armenian ravioli. If the expression ” Citizen of the world “ exists, it was certainly in Marseille that it was invented… or almost!
Marseille cooks the world – Vérane Frédiani – Editions de La Martinière – 29.90 euros
Keywords: Marseille restaurants – Marseille gastronomy – Marseille Book