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Past Events 2017


Cocktail de fin d’année
Friday, December 15th, 7:00 pm
Cocktail de fin d’année holiday party with EINY at the French Consulate.

Rodin au MET
Friday, December 8th, 5:00 pm
Metropolitan Museum of Art

Private tour by Page Knox, followed by a glass of bubbly.

On the centenary of the death of Auguste Rodin (1840–1917), The Metropolitan Museum of Art celebrates its historic collection of the artist’s work.

Tour host Page Knox is an adjunct professor in the Art History Department of Columbia University, where she received her PhD in 2012. She is a Contractual Lecturer for the Education Department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she gives public gallery talks and lectures in special exhibitions as well as the permanent collection and teaches membership classes.

December 7th, 2017

John Bennett was honored and deeply touched to receive La Médaille de Reconnaissance (de ses services exceptionnels) in the presence of the Consul General of France, Anne-Claire Legendre, from the Comité des Associations Françaises de New York, voted on by this grouping of some 75 French organizations, for his work as president of the Paris American Club.

Accepting in the name of the club’s board, committees and members, who have supported the work of fostering French-American friendship and have seen membership double in the past two years, he pledged to continue work with the French associations, as l’union fait la force.

Since starting studies of the language of Corneille, Racine and Molière in high school in Newburgh, NY, through his year at La Faculté de lettres in Nice, where he was called “Jean-François, plus français que les Français” and as president of Le Cercle Français and Les Bateleurs at Georgetown University and work at Berlitz and Alouette, John has championed the cause of Franco-American friendship. He also recognized his 99-year old mother, who wanted to be a French teacher, for encouraging him in his studies.

December 6th, 2017
National Arts Club
Speaker: Christos  Markogiannakis
The Louvre Murder Club, Editions Le Passage

Guest of Honor: Her Excellency Ambassador Maria Theofili, Permanent Representative of Greece to the United Nations and former Ambassador to France.

Christos Markogiannakis was born in 1980 in Heraklion, Greece. He studied law and criminology in Athens and Paris and worked for several years as a criminal lawyer. Author of crime novels and “Criminartistic” installations, mixing art and crime, he currently lives in Paris where he conducts research on the representation of murder iart.

« It is erudite yet easy to read, often brilliant and sometimes funny. It is being read like a thriller. Blood flows over the painting rails but fortunately, Christos Markogiannakisis conducting the investigation!» Le Monde du Livre, Le Monde

« We can visit a museum like the Louvre a 1000 different ways, but the thread chosen by this book is particularly passionate: crime! » La Libre Belgique

Pan-roasted duck with dried cherries
Chef choice & macarons by French ‘Encas

Blind Tasting
Thursday, November 30th, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
L’Organisation de la Francophonie

A wine expert, Matthieu Guillot, talked about how to appreciate French (and American) fine wines with a blind tasting, quiz, and gifts for the lucky ones.


Soirée d’automne
November 7th, 2017
View proposed menu here
Read Harlem’s French Renaissance

“Merci pour votre invitation. J’ai été ravi de partager ce moment chaleureux avec vous et serai heureux de le faire à nouveau.

Toutes mes félicitations pour votre action envers les jeunes français et américains. C’est l’avenir de l’amitié entre nos deux peuples qui se joue.”

Jérôme Henry
Consul adjoint
Chef de chancellerie
Consulat Général de France à New York

“Thank you for another fantastic event last night.”

“La soirée d’hier soir était un succès! merci. Mon amie Audrey va prendre son membership. J’en suis ravi.”

“I had a great time last night. I liked the place and the organization. Foods and drinks were delicious. I heard some people found the place a little packed. But my opinion is, because we were packed, the event was great.”

“Merci pour la soirée d’hier. Top!! Bravo!”

“Wanted to thank you for work you put into planning last night’s soirée. A great time was had by all.”

“Merci pour cette super soirée à Barawine.”

“Cher John, Great event.”

“Event was definitely great, there was such a nice atmosphere… I cannot explain exactly why but people (and myself) really enjoyed it. PS: In my opinion, there was definitely a space issue regarding our usual comfort standards, but it ended up being the least of my concern as the party went…”

View photos in Gallery.

PAC aux fourneaux
Saturday, October 28, 2017

Members and friends sharpened their cooking skills “at the stove” with this hands-on cooking lesson with Chef-Owner Abigail Hitchcock of Camaje, a cozy bistro on a quiet block of MacDougal Street in the heart of Greenwich Village. There was a fun food quiz with prizes!



Mentoring Program Launch Dinner
Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017
National Arts Club

Just as Benjamin Franklin had the critical task of enlisting France’s aid for the American cause, and our forebears in 1940 engaged in garnering American support for France against totalitarianism during World War II, we too have important work before us. Ours is to keep the torch of friendship burning brightly between France and the United States, at a time when some leaders on both sides of the Atlantic flirt with isolationism and divisiveness.

Dr. Irene Finel-Honigman of Columbia University launched our new Mentoring Program.

Oriented towards personal, professional, and social development within a one-on-one relationship, the Mentoring Program is an effective way to strengthen friendships and develop the best practices of French and American cultures, while at the same time, providing a unique benefit of club membership.

Gonzague Leroux, Chair and Ludovic Dubrana and Quentin Marchal, members of the Mentoring Committee, explained details of the program.

Mentor Véronique Chabrolle and Mentee Romain-Alexis Bouché discussed their progress in the first pilot program.

Please support this program by volunteering to be a mentor or mentee. Further information may be found on the Outreach, Mentoring Program page.




Palio & Pétanque on Minetta 
Sunday, September 17th, 3:00–5:00
1 Minetta STREET

Siena, France and Minetta Street

Siena, home of the Palio, and Avignon, home of the popes from 1309 to 1377, are sister cities. St. Catherine of Siena helped persuade Pope Gregory XI to move his court back to Rome.

The first modern Palio, a horserace in the Piazza del Campo, or main square of Siena, was held in 1633. Today, the Palio is held on July 2nd, Palio di Provenzano, and August 16th, Palio dell’Assunta. Ten horses and riders, bareback and dressed in the appropriate colors, represent ten of the seventeen contrade, or city wards. Each has its own colors and flags. Jockeys ride bareback, the three laps take no more than 90 seconds, but the preceding Corteo Storico, or medieval pageant, goes on for more than two hours. It is the horse that wins, even if its jockey is thrown off his horse!

The night before, each contrada holds a rehearsal victory banquet at long tables with candles, violins and some dozen courses and wines before the horse is taken into the neighborhood church to be blessed. Having attended one of these street feasts, I was inspired to create the “Palio on Minetta” in 2009, our version, sans cheveaux, of the victory dinner, with donations of food and wine from local purveyors. Proceeds go to the Minetta Block Association, which endeavors to improve the quality of life on the block and neighborhood. 1 Minetta Street is the official address of the Paris American Club.

Legend has it that Catherine de Medici of Florence, not far from Siena, and wife of Henri II, introduced the fork to the French court. So you see, there are many reasons for the Paris American Club to play pétanque at the Palio on Minetta!

We thank our generous sponsors:

Dinner, September 14th, 2017
National Arts Club

Speaker: Emmanuel Roux, Special Representative of INTERPOL to the United Nations

A French senior police officer, with a 25 years’ experience in the French National Police, Emmanuel Roux now leads the INTERPOL UN Office, with a wide focus in areas such as Counter-Terrorism, Prevention of Illicit Wildlife and Firearms Trafficking and Drug Trafficking, through the promotion of INTERPOL’s police capabilities, included but not limited to databases and information sharing platforms. Prior to this position, he was the Head of the French Chiefs of police Association in France, where he was responsible for high level negotiations with the French National Police and political authorities.

Wednesday, August 23rd, 6:30-8:30 pm
FACC Summer Social at the Boat Basin Cafe

Members and friends of the Chamber and PAC enjoyed the Summer Social, blessed this year with exceptional weather!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017, 6:30
Pre-Bastille Cocktail Dînatoire
Le District, Brookfield Place
230 Vesey Street at North Cove Harbor (WFC)

With all of les fêtes populaires, over 3o members gathered for a very civilized Bastille Day cocktail dînatoire along the banks of the Hudson at the French version of Eataly.






Sunday, July 9th, 12-5 pm
FIAF Fête de la Bastille
East 60th Street (Between Lex & Fifth Aves)

Over 200 people visited our booth, hosted by members Nina Betancourt, Charles and Marion Conwell, Terry Bennett, and Hilary James.




Cabaret Français
Thursday, June 15th, 6:30 pm

Members of the Paris American Club joined forces with members of Le Cocktail Français of the National Arts Club for a French buffet dinner with French wines – bien sûr – and tour de force cabaret performance by Jean Brassard. An exquisite evening of delicious food and drink with spectacular entertainment.




Sunday Brunch, June 11th, 10:30−1:00
French Open on the big screen
Monte’s Trattoria, 97 MacDougal Street

The Paris American Club was excited to host its second Young Members event.  A French/Italian brunch was served with Bloody Marys and rosé de Provence, while watching the Men’s Finals on the big screen at Monte’s upstairs dining room. Members played interactive tennis trivia games. Overall, it was a win for everyone that took part in the event.

Le brunch pour la finale de RG était top.
–Numa Briet

Thursday, May 4th, 2017
Guest Speaker: Arnaud de Saignes
Managing Director – Domaine Chandon California

“Born French, raised in California” was the topic of Arnaud de Saignes’ talk on Domaine Chandon in the Napa Valley.

Arnaud discussed the brand’s roots in France and development in the United States, its products and savoir-faire in wine production. He also compared the differences among sparkling wines around the world, including Champagne, Prosecco, and of course, California bubblies.

Finally, speaking on l’art de la dégustation, our members and guests were invited to enhance their tasting experience while being treated to Chandon Rosé en apéritif and an Etoile demi-sec with dessert.



May 2nd, 2017
Young Member Launch Party

Hotel Chantelle
92 Ludlow St

The Paris American Club proudly presented the launch of its Young Members Committee with a party on May 2nd at the Hotel Chantelle! Some 75 American Francophiles, French people who love the USA, members and friends celebrated with Chloé Perrier and her jazz ensemble, featuring wine, hors-d’oeuvres, a networking/mingling quiz, CEO tips, and a swing dance introduction lesson by Spencer Weisbond. The new PAC Mentoring Program was introduced.

April 4th, 2017, Tuesday, Dinner, 7:00 pm
Guest Speaker: Dean Foster
HOW CULTURES THINK: My Adventures Managing the Mindsets of French and Americans

Dean Foster ThumbnailWe all know about the historic trans-Atlantic love affair between French and Americans: the American enchantment with the finely-tuned French way of life and the French fascination with the breezy freedom of American individualism.  But, as with all love affairs, there is a flip-side: classic ongoing misunderstandings between these two old friends, continue to mystify and sometimes infuriate, on both sides.  And the source of this ongoing dilemma is cultural.  While so many things bind France and the US together, there are hidden cultural differences, deeply rooted in each respective culture, that cause us to see the world through different lenses, to think and act differently in very significant ways.

Dean Foster is a well-known cross-cultural expert and author, with over 30 years experience advising and consulting worldwide with businesses and governments on the unseen cultural differences that can de-rail even the best-intended deal, discussion…or dinner-party.  In this talk, Dean shared some of his adventures helping to bridge French/American cultural differences, and drew some possibilities on how both countries might leverage their differences to help each other better survive the latest French/American similarity: the Trump/LePen phenomenon.

February 28, 2017 Mardi Gras Luncheon
Guest Speaker: Dr. Irene Finel-HonigmanColumbia University

For Mardi Gras, our club member, Irene Finel-Honigman was our speaker on the topic: “When Paris went Trump: Napoleon III era of profits, police and parties”, a discussion of  the Second Empire, derided as illegitimate, vulgar and censorious, yet judged as France’s leap  into capitalism, finance and global reach.

Dr. Finel-Honigman previously served as a research scholar at SIPA and adjunct professor in the MBA program at Johns Hopkins University. From 2001-2008, she taught European Union political and financial history and policy in the Institute for the Study of Europe at SIPA.

Finel-Honigman served as senior adviser on finance policy at the United States Department of Commerce during the Clinton administration. Her responsibilities included the introduction of an initiative on the European Monetary Union and its implications for U.S. competitiveness.

Finel-Honigman’s book, A Cultural History of Finance (Routledge, Taylor and Francis, 2010), examines the societal and intellectual sources of the 2008 financial crisis within the historical context of European and American financial culture. Her last book, written with Fernando Sotelino, is International Banking for a New Century (Routledge). Finel-Honigman has published extensively on European financial and corporate issues, international relations and French intellectual and financial history. She is editor and an author of European Monetary Union Banking Issues: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (JAI Press, 2005). She regularly provides commentary for French, Belgian, Russian, and U.S. media, including CNN, WNYC, Bloomberg, and other television outlets.

View photos here or visit the Gallery page.

February 2, 2017 La Chandeleur Luncheon
Guest Speaker: Guy SormanFrance-Amérique

We were pleased to welcome Guy Sorman and his team, among the Paris American Club members and their guests.

Dr. Sorman is a leading French intellectual and author, who has written more than 25 books on social, economic, and global affairs.

In 2013, Dr. Sorman became president of the monthly magazine France-Amérique, building on a long career in publishing. (France-Amérique offers a 15% discount on subscriptions to Paris American Club members through our business partner outreach, request code to subscribe.)

Sorman received PhD degrees from the Institute of Political Sciences in Paris in 1964 and from the National School for Oriental Civilization in 1965 before attending the National School of Public Administration (ENA) from 1966-1969. From 1970 to 2000, Dr. Sorman was a professor at Paris University, Institute of political sciences, teaching economics and political philosophy. He has also served as a visiting scholar with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

In 1979, Dr. Sorman founded International Action against Hunger, of which he is honorary president. Since 2004, he has been a member of the French National Commission for Human Rights.  Dr. Sorman has served in political capacities currently as Chairman of the Boulogne-Billancourt’s Economic council and previously as the city’s Deputy-Mayor in charge of culture and science; economic adviser to the French Minister for foreign affairs and the Prime Minister of France; and chair of the India France Economic Council.

Dr. Sorman has received the highest distinctions in France (Légion d’honneur), Brazil (Southern Cross), Argentina (Order of May), and Spain (Excelencia Europae).

View photos here or visit the Gallery page.

January 12, 2017 Luncheon

Guest Speaker Célhia de Lavarène, a journalist and a writer, was interviewed by PAC member Francis Dubois about her work with the U.N. and her new book: Les étoiles avaient déserté le ciel.

Stu Chasabenis, Director of Admissions of the Boerum Hill School for International Studies explained the great development of the establishment, and received the donation of 1,000 dollars towards the school on behalf of the Paris American Club.

Thank you to Ms. Hélène Ringot, Deputy Consul of Social Affairs of the French Consulate, and Ms. Nathalie Lacroix, Director of Albertine, for being part of the Club’s first luncheon of the year.

View photos here or visit the Gallery page.

Calendar of Events 2017 Meetings

Date Event Speaker/Topic/Partner Venue
Jan 12, Thursday Business Meeting &
Luncheon, 12:30
Galette des Rois
Celhia de Lavarène, UN Peacekeeping Missions & Robert Hansen, School for Int’l Studies National Arts Club
Feb 2, Thursday Luncheon, 12:30
La Chandeleur
Guy Sorman
National Arts Club
Feb 28, Tuesday Luncheon, 12:30
Mardi Gras
Dr. Irene Finel-Honigman,
Columbia University
National Arts Club
March 21, Tuesday Reception, 7:00 New Members Private Residence
April 4, Tuesday Dinner, 7:00 Dean Foster, Cross Cultural Associates National Arts Club
May 2, Tuesday Party, 6:30–9:30 Young Member Party Hotel Chantelle
May 4, Thursday Luncheon, 12:30 Arnaud de Saignes, Domaine Chandon California National Arts Club
May 19, Friday Dinner, 7:00 Young Member Induction Château Village
June 11, Sunday Brunch, 10:30–1:00 French Open on the Big Screen Monte’s Trattoria
June 15, Thursday Dinner, 7:00 Cabaret français National Arts Club
July 1, Sunday First World War Centenary, 3:00–6:00 Volunteers needed Central Park
July 9, Sunday Fête de la Bastille FIAF 12:00-5:00 Volunteers needed at booth East 60th Street
July 11, Tuesday Pre-Bastille
Happy Hour
Cocktail dînatoire
Visite au District
Le District
July 13, Thursday Bastille Day Ball
Chloé Perrier and
DJ Olivier Meiji
404 Tenth Avenue
August 23, Wednesday Summer Social
French-American Chamber of Commerce 96th Street Boat Basin
Sept 14, Thursday Dinner, 7:00 Emmanuel Roux, INTERPOL, Special Representative to the UN National Arts Club
Sept 17, Sunday Pétanque, 3−5 Minetta Block Association Minetta Street
Oct 3, Tuesday Dinner, 7:00 Dr. Irene Finel-Honigman launches the PAC Mentoring Program National Arts Club
Nov 2, Thursday Cocktail, 7:00 France-Amérique Consulat de France
Nov 7, Tuesday Soirée, 7−9:30 Soirée d’automne BARAWINE, Harlem
Dec 6, Wednesday Dinner, 7:00 Christos Markogiannakis, The Louvre Murder Club, Editions Le Passage National Arts Club
Dec 8, Friday Tour and Champagne, 5:00 PAC au MET avec Rodin, Lecturer Page Knox Metropolitan Museum of Art
Dec 15, Friday Holiday Cocktail, 7:00 Ecole Internationale de New York Consulat de France