The double meaning of ‘SO’ (‘sud-ouest’, or southwest, and the word ‘so’ itself) implicitly ties the south west to France, whilst also emphasising the truly French side, capitalising on the concept of a French way of life. The So France range is made up entirely of French products emblematic of every region in the country (with more than half coming from Nouvelle-Aquitaine) which meet a standard based on the Origine France Garantie label.
The So France Gourmet Store will offer a simple, friendly and authentic range designed to shatter the elitist, expensive image of French cuisine. Conceived as a concept store, it will provide consumers with numerous spaces and experiences to introduce them to French cuisine:
• The restaurant, whose menu – created by French chef Frédéric Coiffé – invites customers to enjoy a typically French experience: bistronomy, a contraction of ‘gastronomy’ and ‘bistro’.
• A wine bar offering wines by the glass, paired with French-style tapas.
• The Gourmet Store: a location selling French products (50% of which are from Nouvelle-Aquitaine) and a wine and spirits cellar.
• An entertainment and discovery area offering cookery classes, culinary demonstrations and wine tastings led by the chef and producers.
Named ‘Maître Cuisinier de France’ in 2008 and second runner-up in the 2010 Bocuse d’Or France, a chef for 25 years, Frédéric Coiffé has worked at major Michelin-starred restaurants including Richard Coutanceau in La Rochelle and Alain Ducasse in Paris.
Frédéric fell head over heels in love with Singapore, and gets deliberately lost in his narrow alleys and historic districts in order to soak up the Singaporean spirit and understand local consumer expectations. This is where he tasted chicken rice, an iconic local dish which truly set his taste buds tingling. Created with passion, he offers his own version of this Singaporean speciality in the So France bistro menu, reflecting what he likes to call his DNA: simple, high-quality products, the majority of which come from Nouvelle-Aquitaine.
From the southwest himself, he created in 2010 the ‘Atelier du Goût’ in Bordeaux, pairing cookery courses with tastings of the dishes his customers have created. Constantly simmering away, Frédéric opened a second Bordeaux restaurant in 2017 in the covered market opposite La Cité du Vin.
The So France menu will also showcase typical dishes which are nevertheless often little known in France. Choux buns or the Basque speciality of taloas will be embellished with elegant, high-quality products to create unique recipes.