“Fête de la Gastronomie” – The Celebration of French Cuisine

Gastronomy Festival event in Saint Aubin Square of Toulouse
Gastronomy Festival event in Saint Aubin Square of Toulouse
Each year the last weekend of September the entire France celebrated it’s gastronomy.
2014 was the 4th edition of the “Fête de la Gastronomie”.
Organized by the very Ministry of the Economy the fest is described on the ministry site as:
“To celebrate French gastronomy is to celebrate our culture, our knowledge, our heritage, our identity. It is to recognize that French gastronomy is both a major cultural heritage , as entered in the UNESCO’s intangible world heritage, but also a domain to be explored and reinvented…”
It goes further to say: “The Festival of Gastronomy aims to celebrate the skill, tradition and French gastronomic innovation. The event takes the form of a big popular party, gathering also every year French chefs and cooks that exchange and share culinary know-how.”
This “technical” description translates into events that take place during 3 days in the majority of large or medium size cities of France, events centered on food and cooking (Toulouse’s events this year include: Gourmet Village with stands of foods produced exclusively in the south west of France*, a gigantic dinner on the Rue Alsace-Loraine, “garçon de café” competition etc.)
The “Fête de la Gastronomie” coincides each year with the “Tous au restaurant” (“All to restaurant”) event during which participating restaurants – including Michelin starred ones – offer 2 selected menus for the price of one. The “Tous au restaurant” event is extremely popular and reservation are needed and done during the early September via the www.tousaurestaurant.com web site (this event continues into the first week of October).

I want to finish this little article with a quote from Thomas Jefferson – third President of US and America’s pioneering gourmand (he most probably started the love affair of the Americans with the French fries): “So ask the traveled inhabitant of any nation, In what country on earth would you rather live?—Certainly in my own, where are all my friends, my relations, and the earliest & sweetest affections and recollections of my life. Which would be your second choice? France.”

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