Fête de la Gastronomie
This fall, France will be celebrating local cuisine with a brand new food-centric festival. Secretary of State for Tourism Frédéric Lefebvre has announced the first annual Fête de la Gastronomie, a brand new national food festival celebrating the great diversity of French cuisine, focusing on local cuisine from different regions of France.
The event will take place annually on the first day of autumn (September 23, 2011), with more than 120 events throughout the country. This event follows UNESCO’s addition of the French gastronomic meal to their prestigious list of World Intangible Heritages, honoring the conviviality surrounding customary French meals.
Inspired by the format of the successful Fête de la Musique where open-air music fills streets all around France, la Fête de la Gastronomie aims to create a convivial and warm atmosphere that brings people together through culinary arts. While each year the fest will take on a different theme, for the premiere launch, all the festivities will focus on the theme of “la Terre” (the land), highlighting local products made in different regions of France.
For the fest, famous chefs will cook out on the streets, and offer exceptional menus inspired by cuisine from the chefs’ hometowns. The public is also invited to share personal recipes as well as special techniques used when cooking. Celebrated chefs to be involved in the event include Thierry Marx and Alain Ducasse, among many others.
Other events will include a culinary treasure hunt, where 50 teams of four will participate in an interactive search for local culinary finds such as artisanal chefs, butcher shops, restaurants, and cooking schools. Luxury hotel and restaurant association Relais & Chateaux will open up the kitchens of its 140 properties in France to those seeking to learn traditional French recipes. Also planned are workshops on creating high-end tableware and décor, special menus offered by 47,000 restaurants around France, and the involvement of green markets in France. More details on the events can be found here.
The festival’s website, will feature an interactive map marking the events by location, as well as updates on the festival.
(Image is the event’s logo)