The tradition of farmers’ markets
To discover the area’s culinary heritage, nothing beats a good walk through a Périgord market. Stroll amongst the colourful stalls and be tempted by the strawberries, walnuts and truffle products: a real sensory treat! There are specialist goose and duck markets from November to March where you’ll find the area’s favourite poultry in every form, including foie gras. Truffle markets, including the most famous in Saint-Alvère, also take place in winter – every week from December to February.
Why not visit a farm or a winery that organises tasting tours? It’s the perfect opportunity to learn more about the products and indulge in tasting all the specialities. If you’re planning a dinner or a special occasion, you can take home some locally-produced caviar, wine or foie gras: the refined Périgord specialities.
Gourmet fêtes are regularly organised, which fall somewhere between a village festival and a market. Awaken your senses with entertainment, music and a great community atmosphere.
Try a cooking class
Learning with a chef is the best way to be sure that you are preparing preserved duck, foie gras and truffle-based dishes in the great Périgord tradition. Duck & Truffle involves Gourmet Weekend Tours customised for small groups, visiting D&T’s personal favourite vineyards and restaurants – many of which aren’t found in the guidebooks. Or try a tailor-made Bergerac Wine Tour, run Monday to Friday in the vineyards, with which you can absorb local knowledge and learn about the different terroirs and the vines’ rich history before having a taste.
Many chefs use local products which are an important aspect of the region’s charm. Some perpetuate the traditions of cuisine “à l’ancienne”, while others opt for a more modern approach. Today, other food ambassadors highlight the incredible variety and quality of our local products.
“Les Saveurs du Palais” by Danièle Mazet-Delpeuch:
Originally from the Périgord, this self-taught chef (cook at the Elysée Palace for French President François Mitterrand from 1988 to 1990) has an incredible career. Her atypical life provided the inspiration for the 2012 film Haute Cuisine or “Les Saveurs du Palais”, directed by Christian Vincent and starring Catherine Frot. Author of the book "Carnets de cuisine du Périgord à l’Elysée" and a new work entitled “Ma cuisine de l’Elysée à l’Antartique” (My Cooking from the Elysée Palace to Antarctica), this vibrant female chef takes inspiration from the culinary pleasure of others. A skilled exponent of rustic-style cuisine, Danielle still lives in the Dordogne, from where she continues to pass on the culinary savoir-faire of past generations.
Martin Walker: portrait of a food-loving author:
Author of several novels and the police detective series “Bruno”, Scottish journalist Martin Walker divides his time between Washington and the Dordogne, where he owns a house in the country. The main hero in his food-inspired detective novels set in the Dordogne is Commissaire Bruno, a municipal policeman with somewhat unconventional methods. In real life, Bruno is no other than Pierre Simonet, the municipal chief of police in the village of Le Bugue, in the Vézère valley. The success of his novels has attracted new visitors to the Dordogne hoping to meet and follow in the steps of their police hero!
Foodie festivals for your diary
• Truffle Festival and Académie Culinaire, Sarlat - www.sarlat-tourisme.com/en/truffle-festival
• Truffle, truffle-growing and duck and goose festival, Sorges
• Festoie, Sarlat - www.sarlat-tourisme.com
• Strawberry and flower festival, Vergt - www.fraiseduperigord.com
• Les Journées du Terroir, Sarlat - www.sarlat-tourisme.com/les-journees-du-terroir
• "L’assiette de Cyrano", Bergerac - Find out more
• Périgord walnut festival, Nailhac - www.ot-hautefort.com
• Journée du Goût et de la Gastronomie, Sarlat - www.sarlat-tourisme.com/en/gourmet-celebration-days
• Fête de la Gastronomie at the Château de Neuvic in Neuvic sur l’Isle - www.tourisme-isleperigord.com/agenda
• Cep mushroom and milk-fed veal festival, Saint-Saud-la-Caussière - www.dordogne-perigord-tourisme.fr/sortir/agenda
• Chestnut and mushroom festival, Villefranche-du-Périgord - www.dordogne-perigord-tourisme.fr/sortir/agenda