The Fete de la Gastronomie (or “Gastronomic Party”) is all of a sudden a big deal in France. In a country where pretty much everything is a reason to party, the first annual Fete de la Gastronomie was declared in France this year as a yearly event, to celebrate the inclusion of the traditional French gastronomic meal in UNESCO’s Cultural Heritage of Humanity…
The festival in France is a countrywide event that’s taking place on the first day of fall, September 23. We Montrealers, in turn, aren’t ones for skipping a party either, especially one that includes the chance to eat, drink and be merry, and in doing so celebrate our French heritage.
The way it’ll unroll here this year is that the restaurant members of the worldwide Relais et Chateaux (there’s a whole movement going on in their French properties for the occasion) will offer a four-course menu based on each chef’s ideal of French cuisine, all at a very reasonable fixed price ($100 including wine, tax and service). In Montreal, we have two Relais et Chateaux establishments that will be participating on September 23.
Normand Laprise of Toqué! says that for him, French cuisine represents products and technique. His favorite French chef is Michel Bras, who made veggies fashionable a quarter-century before everyone else, and Laprise’s first course, Gargouillou de legumes facon Michel Bras, is his homage to the master (his main, on the other hand, is beef tournedos). Perhaps best of all, his dessert is the traditional French indulgence, the Paris-Brest, which Laprise will surely riff on in his own way.
Jerome Ferrer of Restaurant Europea calls French cuisine “a living cultural heritage”, and says that his favourite French chef is his grandmother, who showed him the pleasures of the kitchen. Though his favourite French dish is Boeuf Bourgignon, his menu will feature lobster mousseline and braised veal cheeks, as the menus also have an emphasis on local and sustainable products.
Be among the first to see the New World celebrate its roots by eating and drinking living history during the first annual Fete de la Gastronomie!