The weekend of 20-22 September saw two days of local celebrations to mark France’s annual ‘Fête de la Gastronomie’. Now in its third year, the festival was fronted by two-star Michelin chef Thierry Marx, a pioneer of molecular cuisine and jury member of M6 cooking reality show ‘Top Chef’ France.
The Champagne region itself was the setting for a spectrum of events on the theme ‘A plateful of Champagne-Ardenne’. This year’s highlights, organized by professional and amateur food enthusiasts alike, included tastings, shows and competitions aimed at showcasing Champagne’s rich food heritage.
The festival competition finals were held in the town of Sedan, 20-21 September. Among the co-sponsors were the Ministère de l’Artisanat, du Commerce et du Tourisme (ministry of crafts, commerce and tourism), the Ministère de l’Education nationale, de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche (ministry of national education, higher education and research), the Relais & Châteaux Hotel Group, the Association nationale des Professeurs de cuisine et restaurant des CFA (national association of teachers of cookery and catering to professional level), the Champagne-Ardenne Region, the Comité régional de Tourisme (regional tourist board), the Atelier 750 grammes (culinary events coordinator) and the Fédération française de cuisine (French federation of amateur chefs).
Twenty-two finalists (one per French region) pitted their talents around a range of innovative recipes based on local food products. The winner was announced at a glittering awards ceremony held on the afternoon of Saturday 21 September at the Château de Sedan, where the Comité Champagne was among the prize-givers.