Régis Marcon the 3-star chef of the renowned restaurant Régis and Jacques Marcon, in Saint-Bonnet-le-Froid in the Loire, is one of the personalities shaping the new Cité internationale de la Gastronomie in Lyon. Like any great chef, his ingredients, recipe and menu for the venue, due to open in 2019, truly whet your appetite.
Why has Lyon been chosen to host the International City of Gastronomy?
With an illustrious gastronomic heritage and a taste for the pleasures of the table, Lyon was understandably selected by the French Mission of heritage and agriculture. Don’t forget, this is the city of the famous bouchons (traditional bistros) and there are about twenty starred chefs. Plus, there are more than 4,000 restaurants in Lyon. Agriculture and food and health research are dynamic sectors. The need to create a dedicated place to promote all these talents and savoire-faire to a large audience was therefore obvious.
What is the mission of this future city?
At the heart of the 18th century Grand Hotel-Dieu, which is currently undergoing conversion, is the intention to honour the pleasures of the table. But it will also be dedicated to good health, well-being and the art of living. French gastronomy will certainly be promoted but also the idea is to highlight the links between food and health, to invent, to experiment and to spread the good food habits of tomorrow. It will be a very lively place of discovery, it will promote meetings but also innovation and experimentation between producers, chefs, researchers and of course gourmands!
Tell us about the historic building which will house the Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie...
The Grand Hotel-Dieu is a place steeped in history, it is a symbol of Lyon's medical excellence. Architect Jacques-Germain Soufflot (1713-1780) designed this exceptional building and it is a masterpiece of the architecture of the Age of Enlightenment. The renovation will see it opened up with eight entry points and visitors will be able to enjoy 8,000 m² of courtyards, gardens and galleries. There will be restaurants, cafés, shops, a branch of the Intercontinental Hotel and a Convention Centre.
What will visitors discover?
The Cité internationale de la Gastronomie will reside in the oldest part of the Grand Hotel-Dieu. On four levels, there will be permanent and temporary exhibition spaces, demonstrations and workshops. Visitors will enjoy a space of 3,900 m², organized for education, taste, fun and interactive visits, with, for example, training workshops. When it comes to the tasting aspect, I can assure you that all senses will be fulfilled, and visitors will be given the keys to the pleasure of eating well - and eating better.
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