11 highlights of the Fête de la Gastronomie 2017

This weekend (22–24 September 2017), a multitude of events are set to celebrate French culinary culture as part of the Fête de la Gastronomie (Gastronomy Festival). This seventh instalment of the festival features the theme ‘Au coeur du produit’ (‘The heart of the product’) and it’s an opportunity for chefs from all over France to show off their culinary delights to the foodie public. Here’s a round-up of the highlights to expect.

1.ALPS: Isère Food Festival in Grenoble

After a successful first year in 2016, this Alpine festival returns to showcase the ‘savoir-faire’ of the mountains and assert the gastronomic identity of the snowy department of Isère, where a wealth of famous ski resorts are situated.

2.BIARRITZ & THE BASQUE COUNTRY: Pierre Oteiza’s “From Fork to Fork”

In the Aldudes Valley at the heart of the Pyrenees, local breeder and artisan Pierre Oteiza is inviting visitors to try Basque pork – sourced from the indigenous Kintoa pig – that once graced the dining tables of the kings of France and Navarre.

3.BORDEAUX: “Georgia, the cradle of viticulture” at the Cité du Vin

With Georgia as a guest vineyard, a great banquet is being organised on Saturday evening at Bordeaux’s new wine museum. The ‘priest’ of proceedings, known as the tamada, will give a speech and organise the toasts.

4.BURGUNDY: ‘Weekend gourmand du Chat Perché’ in Dole

Experience the flavours and culinary heritage of Burgundy-Franche-Comté. Picturesque Dole in the Jura is transformed into one great gourmet village for the weekend, with shows, special menus and meet-and-greets with local producers and artisans.

5.BRITTANY: Rennes’ Festival Gourmand

The skill and creativity of Rennes’ restaurant chefs is put to the test this weekend with a series of themed competitions. Visitors will also enjoy browsing vibrant markets, attending talks and watching cooking demonstrations.

6. PROVENCE: Cassis Star Grape Harvests

This weekend is celebrated in style across sunny Provence, with a series of events highlighting local products and culinary talent at markets and laying on vast public picnics and beautiful banquets. Many towns and villages are taking part. In Cassis village and port, this weekend will be rich in flavour with over 30 free demonstrations, involving 35 market stallholders and cookery lessons given by Michelin-starred chefs. Wine buffs will enjoy the oenology masterclasses.

7.LYON: Africa50

The gastronomy of Africa and the Caribbean is promoted every year in foodie hub Lyon, with its event ‘SAGALY’ (‘Saveurs et gourmandises africaines à Lyon’). This weekend’s festival will act as a precursor with ‘Africa50’, whose stalls offer free tastings of exotic food and drink.

8.NORMANDY: Les Beaux Arts Culinaires in Caen

From painting to plate… this weekend over 70 great Norman chefs are creating mouth-watering dishes inspired by the paintings exhibited at seven of Caen’s museums. Taste Normandy through its art – in situ!

9.PARIS: International Village of Gastronomy

This ‘village’ in the French capital received over 25,000 visitors in 2016 and returns this year to no doubt repeat its success. Journey to the heart of the culinary and cultural heritage of over 50 countries with tastings, cookery demos, concerts, costumes and decorations from all over the world.

10.TOULOUSE: Toulouse à Table

The famous ‘Pink City’ is due to celebrate its renowned gastronomy with a series of varied events this weekend, to include a marketplace comprising a dozen food trucks selling all manner of delicious things, and a grand public banquet.

11.LOIRE VALLEY: Loire Festival in Orléans

This riverside town is presenting ‘Tapas de Loire’ this weekend to honour the festival’s special guest, Spain. There will also be an accompanying exhibition of boat-themed creations made entirely of sugar, plus the ‘Chausson de Loire’ created by local bakers.