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A lifelong lover of the arts and gastronomy, Michèle Fontanière lends her voice and serves
victims of crimes through her philanthropic efforts both in the U.S. and around the world.
T E X T BY E S T R EL L I TA S . S I B I L A
PH OTO BY LO I C ERCO L E S S I
W hen Michéle Fontanière isn’t crusading for the rights
of victims of crime, she’s in the kitchen cooking up
French cuisine and teaching everyday people and
international celebrities how to perfect famous French dishes like
boeuf bourguignon, blanquette de veau, tournedos rossini and
gratin dauphinois. And that’s just the beginning of this creative
philanthropic powerhouse’s portfolio.
Born in Lyon, the capital of gastronomy in France, she’s been
recognized as one of the best private cooks in her region and
worked with the world’s most renowned culinary masters, including
Georges Blanc and Philippe Le Chat. Her culinary skills were put to
the test on Un Dinner Presque Parfait and Le Combat Des Regions,
the French equivalents to cooking competition shows Top Chef and
Chopped. Today, she continues to tap her creative side in the kitchen with
Passion Cuisine, her private cooking company, and the art and
design world through Michèle Fontanière Pop-Up Gallery, a unique
art hub that displays art in uncommon and creative locations,
making placement of the works as much a part of the experience
as the pieces. “We organize and promote exhibitions to reach
consumers in places not typically associated with art exhibitions,
in prestigious but surprising settings, specifically tailored to the
62 artists’ target niche,” she says. “We also complement each gallery
opening with our signature cocktail parties which include gourmet
French food and fine cocktails.”
When it comes to causes, her greatest passion is helping victims of
crime overcome their circumstances and improve their lives. Before
settling down in Miami, she spent years traveling as a missionary to
countries like Mongolia, Mozambique, South Africa and others. She
worked directly in the streets with victims of crime and has been
involved in the fight ever since. “I’m most passionate about helping
the victims of human and sex trafficking,” she says. “I started in
the field helping victims, then became a Certified Victim Coach
and provided trainings for various organizations involved in the
cause.” Her passion led her to organize the first national conference
focused on human trafficking in France.
Having taken residence in Miami a few years ago, she continues
to raise awareness while educating victims and families and raising
funds to help those whose lives have been negatively impacted.
This year she hosted the 1st Annual Charity Gala for Victims
Of Crime in Coconut Grove. “Whether it’s sharing my passion
for cooking with clients or helping emerging artists establish
themselves, I love to see people happy and know that they are
enjoying life.”; MRPopUpGallery.com; MFPassionCuisine.com.