Dr. Joseph Parello, Visiting Scholar at Vanderbilt University-Department of Pharmacology, and Chef Roger Michel, Head Chef of the Westin Hotel in Savannah, Georgia, will receive respectively the insignias of the Legion of Honor and the National Order of Merit April 30 and April 2, 2013. Both have greatly contributed to the prestige of France in the U.S. Southeast.
Dr. Joseph Parello will receive the Legion of Honor medal, in the rank of knight, during a private ceremony in Nashville on April 30. Presently Visiting Scholar at Vanderbilt University-Department of Pharmacology, Dr. Parello also led an impressive multidisciplinary career at the CNRS (French National Research Center) from 1961 to 2004, during which he worked to “integrate the molecular world in the functioning of the living.” For his work, he has received numerous awards, including three in France : the Prix National de Biophysique from the Ministry of Research and Higher Education (1984), the Prix Dhéré from The National Academy of Sciences (1993), and the Prix Girard from the National Academy of Pharmacologie (1994). Great scientist, Joseph Parello is also a talented artist who is constantly working to enhance the Franco-American friendship.
On April 2, Roger Michel will be awarded with the insignias of Knight in the National Order of Merit from Nicole Hirsch, Advisor to the Assembly of French Citizens Abroad, and Consul General Barbet. Expatriate chef in the United States for nearly 30 years, he has led for many years the kitchens of the Westin Hotel in Savannah, Georgia, which includes three restaurants. Through his cuisine, Chef Roger Michel participates in France’s influence in a region of the United States that shares a common history with France. The appointment of Chef Roger Michel recognizes this representative of the French culinary art who, through his outstanding work, has created a strong bond with this region of the United States.
Created in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, the Legion of Honor is the highest honor of France. It recognizes distinguished service to the French Republic on the nomination of the President himself.
Instituted on December 3, 1963 by General de Gaulle, the National Order of Merit recognizes distinguished merit acquired either in public office, civil or military, or in the exercise of a private activity.