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Culinary treats for a multicultural community

Local and international culinary treats beckon when Dreiland News hold a Gourmet Night at the Forum in St-Louis to bring communities across the borders together.

By Martin Pütter

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Some of treats on offer at the Dreiland Night Gourmet Edition: oysters, wines and cheeses

Samuel Baumann is adamant. “We have a unique lifestyle here in Dreiland, with the chance of being able to enjoy the best of all three countries”, says the co-founder of Dreiland News, a still young, but unique communications project across borders. Dreiland, that includes Alsace in France, Baden in Germany and the Basel area in Switzerland. Many people cross these borders every day, as Baumann says, but for a long time cross-border cooperation has only been institutional. The non-profit Dreiland News wants to change that. “We are trying to communicate across borders, we share news, we share events and tips for our Dreiland Community, in three languages, and more. We want more cross-cultural communication in our multicultural Dreiland.”

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The Dreiland News logo

Gourmet event
One way of achieving that is by teasing the Dreiland community with culinary treats. For that reason the first Dreiland Night Gourmet Edition will be held at the Forum in St-Louis on 28 October. The idea for this event came up when Baumann and Olivier Boule, who at Dreiland News represents the local Alsatian small and medium-sized retailers, met up with Guido Briccos, a wine importer located in Basel. The idea grew and took shape, especially as Rebecca Finck, founder and owner of Finck Events in Allschwil, joined the group. Boule and Briccos have been coordinating all the partners and sponsors, while Finck has been helping with promoting and planning the event.

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In charge of the Dreiland Night Gourmet Edition (from left to right): Sam Baumann, Olivier Boule, Guido Briccos and Rebecca Finck

International and local
Although the culinary treats offered at the Dreilands Night Gourmet Edition may be international, they are supplied by local businesses, whether that is food (for example the Auberge d’Alsace in Bartenheim, Ristorante per Tutti in Basel or Antony Affineurs cheese dairy in Vieux-Ferrette) or drinks (e.g. Vins Ehrhart in Wettolsheim or Le Monde du Vin in St-Louis). The same also applies to the fashion show that is part of the event, with fashion shops from the German, French and Swiss part of the Dreiland area contributing. The host of the evening is Anna Fersztand who has been with Dreiland News from its very early days.

Events across the border
It is the second event Dreiland News are organising in their young history (after Miss Dreiland two years ago), and the second in Alsace. “From the start we wanted to offer oysters, and these are easier to organise from within France. Another reason is that Reg’Yo, the small retailers association in the St-Louis area, is supporting our project”, Samuel Baumann explains. However, they have planned to cross the borders with their events as well in the near future. “We certainly shall have events in Baden or in Basel”, the founder of Dreiland News says.

Tram as opportunity
“Our biggest challenge is to help intensify exchanges and communication with Switzerland as well as with Germany. The extension of the Basel trams is a real opportunity”, explains Baumann. The Number 8 tram from Basel already goes to Weil in Germany, and “we will continue to echo the wish of many people to see tram number 3 go all the way to the Euroairport. All three countries will benefit from it.”

Voice of the future
Looking at the various new media channels Dreiland News is using you can see it is a growing and busy community. And it played its tiny part in a major success. “We approached our European MP Anne Sander about the roaming costs for mobile phones. We were glad when we finally saw an end to those extra costs.” Social media are increasingly accessed via mobile phones, and, as Baumann says, “thanks to social media people can express themselves and give life to a community. What has been a mostly institutional cooperation in the past must now adapt to the reality of our daily life and habits. We would like to be one of the voices of this common future of the Dreiland.”

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