French Flavors at Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts

Today marks the beginning of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA), an event that takes artistic impression, fashion, and food from France to the streets of Philadelphia.

The event is mostly taking place at the Kimmel Center in Center City, Philadelphia. Go check out the transformed Kimmel Center, where an 81-foot Eiffel Tower replica was erected with planes floating around above it. Every day during the festival, which runs from April 8 to May 1, there will be French wines and food to taste along with free French lessons to engage in, ensuring you will know the difference between pommes frites and pommes de terre the next time you dine at a French bistro.

Speaking of bistros, Le PIFA Bistro is a pop-up bistro concept designed for PIFA by Wolfgang Puck Catering. The bistro will only be around during the festival with hours on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for dinner and Sunday brunch. But, worry not if you can’t make it for a meal, because there will be French food abound in the Kimmel Center including some French treats we all love such as croissants and crepes!

Many food-centric events are on the agenda for PIFA, including special chef dinners at select city restaurants where a chef from Lyon or Paris will be paired with a culinary master from the City of Brotherly Love. Some of the participating Philly chefs include Terence Feury from Fork, Pierre Calmels from Bibou and Georges Perrier of Le Bec Fin fame. The pairing menus for PIFA will be served from Wednesday through Friday, April 13 to 15, at each participating restaurant.

PIFA boasts activities for the kids as well. Leading up to a free Easter egg hunt on April 24 toward the end of the festival, the PIFA line-up also offers origami classes for kids and Grow Up Great concerts sponsored by PNC. Be sure not to miss out on the giant street festival planned for the end of the 4-week long event. Chestnut to Lombard Streets in Center City will be transformed into a Parisian street fair with performers, a grass park with a children’s area, musical entertainment and performers all day long, and a giant Ferris Wheel right on Broad Street. For the entire schedule of events, directions and ticket information, visit the official PIFA website at