Paris, Capital of Gastronomy

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Paris, Capital of Gastronomy
“It is not pretentious to say that France is the nation with the best fare,” wrote Armand Lebaut in 1910. And chefs come to Paris to train, he explained, from all over the world, or as he put it, from “all countries where civilization has brought a certain gastronomic sophistication.” This delightful reveling in the success of the French culinary arts is at the heart of the exhibition “Paris, Capital of Gastronomy” – running at the Conciergerie until July 16th. That’s where I found this quotation, along with five separate sections devoted to the celebration of food in the city with an unrivaled claim to excellence in the field. T’was ever thus. The opening section takes the visitor back in time to some of the grandest meals ever served in Paris. First, an Epiphany banquet hosted by Charles V in January 1378, here in the Conciergerie, or Palais de la Cité, as it was then known. A colorful picture from the Grandes Chroniques de France covers one wall, depicting Charles flanked by the two guests he most wanted to impress: the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV and his son King Wenceslas. The three kings dined on soups and pâtés, assorted roast meats and sweet pastries, each seated under a canopy and watched over by assorted bishops and 800 other guests. It was an early state banquet, medieval style. “Paris, Capital of Gastronomy” exhibit. © Marian Jones
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Lead photo credit : "Paris, Capital of Gastronomy" exhibit. © Marian Jones

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Recently retired from teaching Modern Languages (French and German), Marian now has time to develop her interests in travel and European culture and history. She will be in Paris as often as she can, visiting places old and new, finding out their stories and writing it all up as soon as she gets home. Marian also runs the weekly podcast series, City Breaks, offering in-depth coverage of popular city break destinations, with lots of background history and cultural information. She has covered Paris in 22 episodes but looks forward to updating the series every now and then with some Paris Extra episodes.

Comments

  • Victoria Zebrower
    2023-06-28 06:59:02
    Victoria Zebrower
    We were last in Paris four years ago - oh, how I wish we could experience this exhibit. Sounds fantastic. Thank you Marian. Your work is very much appreciated.

    REPLY

    • Marian Jones
      2023-07-03 11:13:55
      Marian Jones
      Thank you for your very kind comment, Victoria. I'm glad you enjoyed a 'flavour' of the exhibition, even if you were unable to go. I hope you will be able to visit Paris again one day.

      REPLY