French evening to provide glimpse of diplomatic high life

One of the secrets of international living is to pick the right party.

Anyone, particularly a reporter, who lives overseas more than briefly knows that the French and the Italians throw the best parties. And reporters will move heaven and earth to snag an invitation.

Back in the Cold War days these embassy parties were about the only place that spies mingled. Both the C.I.A. agents and the Russians were attracted to swank embassy parties like moths to the flame. It was not unusual to see Capt. America, the resident U.S. “cultural affairs officer,” arm wrestling with Ivan of the “State Export Company” over the last dregs of some really good French wine.

Of course, such amateurs paled before the likes of overseas reporters. Newspeople, perhaps because of their low pay or acute sensitivity to high living, can smell a free party miles distant. They also usually have contact with embassy public relations types, and a little begging goes a long way when the power of the press is behind the beggar.

There ought to be a class in journalism school teaching why it is rude to fill jacket pockets with French pastries.

Anyway, thanks to Alliance Française, the public has the chance now to experience the diplomatic high life — perhaps
in a more genteel way than that of the average reporter.

The Embassy of France and Alliance Française have organized an acapella gourmet evening called “À la carte” Sept. 29. The idea is to unit French tradition with music and, of course, French cooking.

The Enjuague Vocal will provide the music.

The evening event is at the residence of French Ambassador Fabrice Delloye in Guayabos de Curridabat starting at 7:30 p.m. Anyone can go for 25,000 colons or $50 per person. The French wrote the book on incredible sauces, super rich desserts and fine wines.

The menu is under the supervision of Pedro Rojas, the French Embassy chef who enhanced his trade in Paris.

Attendance is limited to 150 persons, said the French cultural organization in an announcement.

The group Enjuague Vocal is a sextet of Costa Ricans who have a broad repertoire. Alliance Française noted that acapella means singing without musical accompaniment in a tradition that has its roots in the Middle Ages and the Gregorian chants of the time.

Tickets are available at the French Embassy, the three locations of Alliance Française or the Cámara Franco-centroamericana de Comercio e Industria

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