France stages first-ever Gastronomy Day
France’s first-ever Fete de la Gastronomie, a day-long celebration of French cuisine, kicked off in the capital on Friday with a giant cassoulet cooked underneath the Eiffel Tower.
The event is just one of 3,000 taking place around the country in what is hoped will become an annual event to rival the summer’s, Fete de la Musique.
The idea was first put forward after French cuisine was officially recognized by Unesco last November as a ‘world intangible heritage’.
The Junior Minister for Culture, Frederic Lefebvre, said it was felt French cuisine had to prove it was worthy of the honour.
“We want to make this an event for everyone bringing together French people as well as tourists,” he explained.
Avignon was the first city to sign up for the festival and plans to stage a banquet for 500 of its citizens prepared by some of the cities greatest chefs including the Michelin-starred Christian Etienne.
Events will also take place at the market and a special menu will be served in schools.
In Nimes, leading chefs will produce a huge outdoor lunch featuring locally-produced food and accompanied by wine from the surrounding vineyards.
And in Strasbourg, the capital of the Alsace region, La Soupe des Marches will offer visitors a free mug of soup plus the recipe – and they can keep the mug.