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This is from a review for a restaurant:https://www.tripadvisor.jp/ShowUserReviews-g298110-d7405583-r439370408-Salle_a_Manger_F-Fukui_Fukui_Prefecture_Hokuriku_Chubu.html

フレンチでは知る人ぞ知るシェフ

Does it mean: "A chef known by a selected group of French (people)"? I guess では is marking the agent 'フレンチ'. This seems to be the case with other example sentences I found like:

神ならぬ身では知るよしもない There is no way of knowing by a simple mortal

which apparently is the same as saying:

神ならぬ身の知る由もなし

Here の is marking 神ならぬ身 as the agent/subject same as では.

Is this right so far? Is フレンチ refering to people?

  • 3
    「フレンチ」 means what the answerers say below. I just want to add that, among the katakana words, only 「フレンチ」 and 「イタリアン」 can be used to refer specifically to the cuisine of a country. We never use 「アメリカン」、「ロシアン」、「グリーク」, etc. the same way. I believe that it was the popular TV program 料理の鉄人 (Iron Chef) that spread those "new" meanings for 「フレンチ」 and 「イタリアン」. – l'électeur Feb 6 at 0:21
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This フレンチ is French cuisine, not French people nor France.

This では is basically specifying the focus/scope of the sentence, so "in the field of French cuisine", "concerning French cuisine" or "when it comes to French cuisine" would be the literal translation of this フレンチでは. Compare it with these similar examples:

  • ボクシングでは、相手をキックするのは反則です。
  • プログラミングでは他人が理解しやすいコードを書くことが重要です。

Of course, usually, something like "among French cuisine fans" is a reasonable option.

  • Is my definition of では (by) in 神ならぬ身では知るよしもない correct? – Jon Feb 6 at 4:03
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    @Jon Broadly speaking, で in 神ならぬ身では is indeed a method/means marker (lit. "with this body which is not godly") but you can simply translate it like "since my body is immortal". 神ならぬ身の知る由もなし is ungrammatical. – naruto Feb 6 at 4:54
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This is a review about French cuisine, served at French restaurant Salle à manger F. The context is: French cuisine.

フレンチ usually refers to the cuisine. People are generally フランス人 or フランスの人, the language is usually フランス語 or フランスの言葉.

知る人ぞ知る is used to describe knowledge limited to a select few. The reviewer writes later 「シェフは、フレンチでは知る人ぞ知る有名な方です。」I would make the sentence out to be 'The chef is, among connoisseurs of French cuisine, a famous individual.'.

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I think this フレンチ is referring to French Cuisine (フランス料理) not French people.

Here's a similar example also with the phrase「知る人ぞ知る」:

伊兵衛織{いへいおり}は、きもの通{つう}の間{あいだ}では知る人ぞ知る織り。

Ihei-ori is a weave known well among kimono connoisseurs.

So フレンチでは知る人ぞ知るシェフ probably means something like,

  • フランス料理(またはフランスのこと全般)をよく知っている人な間では...

So one way to translate the title of the review might be,

A chef (only or particularly) known to people who (really) know French Cuisine

J>E definition for the phrase「知る人ぞ知る」: https://ejje.weblio.jp/content/%E7%9F%A5%E3%82%8B%E4%BA%BA%E3%81%9E%E7%9F%A5%E3%82%8B

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