Do you know that there was a food festival in Bordeaux the last week-end? I’m highly sure that you don't. Words have it that this yearly event is the biggest food festival in the region. Do I believe that? Well I do, since I witnessed the grandeur of it first hand the last few days.
The weather has been cold lately: this year winter comes sooner than expected, but it didn’t keep the tourists from attending. Especially since this 4th festival is sponsored by three timed Michelin starred chef Pierre Gagnaire. This chef originated from the South East of France but fell in love with Bordeaux when he visited it that he even opened a restaurant here. And who could blame him? I mean everyone I know loves Bordeaux – Bordeaux city, you know, the world’s best city of 2016. As for me, I’ve been landing here for the past 6 years and I’m a goner from the get go.
I was so excited about this event. I always love and admire French cuisine. What I find even more exciting though, is that the festival was not just about the art of French cuisine, it focused especially on South West cuisine and its many specialties from vegetables, herbs, condiments to fruits, meat, seafood AND wine. The wine here is world famous, even in Vietnam when we hear about Bordeaux, we think about wine ;).
There is this French song about how being friends means to share bread and wine with each other, how sweet!
The festival took place right in the heart of Bordeaux city and lasted 3 days, from Friday 17 to Sunday 19 November, with a wide variety of activities offered by many restaurants, chefs, apprentices and local farmers/producers. I found myself wishing for super powers to multiply myself in order to attend all the activities of the festival. From the top of my head, there are local products fair where you get to taste everything from food to wine, cooking workshops for adults and children, showdowns and competitions among chefs, food and music events, banquets at night, food photography conference and film, seafood auction, and of course, a myriad of interesting treats from restaurants who are partners of the event.
There was enough events and food to satisfy the most gourmands out there. Some of the events are prepaid, like the banquets, most are free however. There was also this privileged ticket of only 10 euros that offered you the possibility of 10 tasting treats from restaurant owners and producers along with promotions from partners of the event. And honestly you couldn’t go wrong with this opportunity because the treats were divine, just look at this lobster burger for example...
Quebec is honored this year. I always admire those breathtakingly beautiful mountains and forests and the people's, actually I mean the men's, lethal charm. Just take a look at Garou and see for yourself. And the women are too beautiful for words really with luscious hair and gorgeous complexion... Sigh. But I digress, let's get back to our festival. Since they have great fruits and vegetables there, it's no wonder they have some of the best products too, especially the cranberry cream which is a sort of fruity liquor if I guess it right.
Coincidentally or not, there is an international food photography festival in Paris at the same time as this food festival. And so we had the opportunity to savor the 40 masterpieces created by top photographers and artists. The theme of the festival is 'gastronomy and haute couture'. Below are some examples of when food and fashion collide...
All in all it was a lovely and exciting event. I usually hate to go to events like this alone but surprisingly, I had not even one moment to get bored. All of my time there was spent looking, tasting, discussing and smiling. And honestly just trying to make the choice of which activities to attend was enough to keep my mind buzzing all the time. I just wish myself to be more rigorous and strong to attend all events for 3 whole days but I have to keep myself in check until next year then. I'll definitely come back for the next round ;).
We call it fried banana for dirty-minded people and well, we could even create a fan club for this dish since this photo has such great success on our social networks. How did they do this? I honestly don't know but let's just agree we shouldn't try this at home.
This fried banana "feast" was made by Thanh Binh Restaurant. And they don't just create funny fried bananas, their Vietnamese dishes are ones of the best I tried so far in France. Delicious Vietnamese dishes and a great laugh for dessert, what more should we ask for?
If you happen to be in Bordeaux starting from September, just make sure to give these meetups a try. Whether you're in Bordeaux indefinitely or for just a short time, whether you want to speak other languages or to discover different cultures, this is a great place to learn and to share.
Meetups organized every Tuesday night by Bordeaux Interculturel.
This photo was taken during a soirée of sharing culinary delights and music.
A melting pot experience, in more than one way. Welcome to our Epicurean adventure!