This year, we attended the Taste of Paris, one of many events organized in Paris around gastronomy and the culinary arts.
Temporary Grand Palais
The “Taste” is held at the Grand Palais which, for now, is closed to the public. Given it is Paris, the people in control said to themselves, “We must close the Grand Palais because it needs tender loving care, but we must give the people what they expect, so let us build a “new” Grand Palais so the people can come.” It’s a post-Revolution response, and build it they did. The “Grand Palais” is now a temporary edifice, an impressive blend of massive arch, wood, thick plastic, curve, wide open space. It’s nothing like the “real” Grand Palais yet it offers a certain bony elegance, situated across the street from the hulking Ecole Militaire, built under the auspices of Louis XV,where training is still held for the elite French forces.
The Taste of Paris takes place in the “Grand Hall,” an elegant French designation for a hangar whose roof is a web of piping and what looks like black fabric. For the Taste, stands were set up in this vast arena, each containing a full kitchen if needed. Chefs and apprentices were busy, their white toques intact, their “blouses de cuisine” spotless, at least while we were there.
The Theme – and the Point – is to Taste
The theme of the Taste is just that, to taste what the chefs are cooking up, to watch their demos and drool, to sample drops of olive oil, French-made soy sauce, cognac barrel-aged vinegar, and more.
Snapshot of Bounty
To have such bounty assembled under one roof is a quick way to get a snapshot of what is newest and best at table in Paris, whether it be the huge variety of potatoes now available from a farm north of Paris, to the flat sauce spoons with the innovation of tines at what is usually a smooth end so food can be stabbed as well as scooped. One gets a glimpse at French imagination and productivity, all the while tasting creativity on a plate, albeit paper.
The French Revere What is on Their Plates
It is always fun to visit such a spectacle of fine and delicious tastes, and we’re so glad to have you along. What you may be surprised by, as we were, is the sheer number of people who attended despite a beautiful, sunny day. But this makes some kind of sense, for the French truly do revere what’s on their plate and the Taste proved that once again.
Welcome to the TASTE OF PARIS!
Next year, the Taste of Paris will be from May 12 to 15…you can book your spot now!