For Med Campus, Lunch at French Embassy
Published: Friday, September 27, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 27, 2013 02:09
“Bienvenue a l’Ambassade Francaise” reads the French Embassy’s cafeteria sign as professor Hong Ji walks in, ready to eat lunch. A year-long membership now available to students, faculty and staff at the Georgetown University Medical Center allows Hong to ditch Hoya Court for the embassy’s cafeteria.
Located at 4101 Reservoir Road NW, across from the Medical Center, the French Embassy launched this program in July, when flyers inviting medical students, medical faculty and hospital staff to the lunch program were posted in Hoya Court.
Although the French Embassy has two full restaurants, the program utilizes only its more casual cafeteria. All eatery options in the French Embassy are catered by French business Sodexo, one of the largest food services and facilities management companies in France, whose previous clients have included Disneyland Paris. In the cafeteria, meals are ordered from a menu that includes main courses, sides, cheese and dessert; a-la-carte options change each day. Beer and wine are also served.
For many medical students and hospital staff, the embassy is a more convenient option than O’Donovan Hall, the Leavey Center or Epicurean and Co.
Membership costs $70 a year for medical and graduate students, while faculty members pay $130 a year. Both packages cover the cost of lunch, regardless of how often the member uses the program. In order to participate, applicants must submit a personal information form, two passport photos and a letter confirming their student or employment status at the university.
“The dining program is easily available,” French Embassy Deputy Press Counselor Dana Purcarescu said. “Applicants do have to produce several forms of identification, but this is just for the security of the embassy.”
If approved, participants are also allowed to bring two guests. Janet Zhu (COL ’15), Hong’s daughter and a cartoonist for The Hoya, ate at the French Embassy last week, using one of those guest passes.
“The meal was really good, and we had a pretty wide selection at very reasonable prices,” Zhu said.
General awareness of the program, however, appears to be low. In fact, Medical Center Media Relations Officer Karen Mallet said she had no knowledge of the program.
“I cannot confirm that such a program of collaboration between the Medical Center and the French Embassy exists,” Mallet said.
Nevertheless, Hong said the number of participants seems to have grown since students and staff members returned after the summer, and she sometimes sees a few graduate and medical students at the embassy.