Burgundy, the cradle of French Gastronomy

Burgundy is mainly known as a wine region and when it comes to Burgundy, we must admit that it’s the wines we think of first. Home 33 PDO Grands Crus Classés wines as well as other Crus and PDOs, the region’s wine-making history can be traced a very long way back. But when you drink great wines, you have to eat great food. And great food is based on great products. These are the main assets of Burgundy’s gastronomy that we invite you to discover.

The products

© Alain Doire / Bourgogne Tourisme
© Alain Doire / Bourgogne Tourisme

Snails – a dish the Brits can’t help but insist the French eat at every meal (which they don’t!)– are really a local delicacy in the region. Served baked, and stuffed with lots of garlic, the Escargot de Bourgogne is a species of the little mollusc whose recipe can be found in the books of many traditional cooks across France.

The Bresse poultry, which have achieved international acclaim for their quality and unique taste are celebrated every year with the Glorieuse de Bresse festival – where producers compete for gold medal prizes and consumers can find out where to get their Christmas bird.

No French region would be complete without its very own cheeses, and boy does Burgundy have some smelly ones! Try the pungent Epoisses with its yellow outer layer, the limited edition Citeaux with only 100,000 cheeses being produced from the monks’ 75 cows, or the smooth and creamy Soumaintrain cows’ cheese to finish on a rounder note. The only one missing is Le Charolais goats’ cheese made in the Saône-et-Loire – one of the many PDOs held by regional producers.

The chefs

© Alain DOIRE / Bourgogne Tourisme
© Alain DOIRE / Bourgogne Tourisme

Over the years Burgundy has lured many of France’s best and brightest in the kitchen and today boasts three chefs with three Michelin stars, just waiting to regale you. One of the most well-known in France Bernard Loiseau has left behind a legacy that has been proudly carried forward by its current chef Patrick Berton. The Relais Bernard Loiseau in Saulieu is renowned for its exceptional food, and warm welcome.

In Joigny, Jean-Michel Lorain at La Côte Saint-Jacques works hard to marry creativity and the essence of each ingredient. He is known in gastronomic circles as one of the best chefs of his generation.

Eric Pras, chef at the Maison Lameloise in Chagny – another Relais et Chateaux establishment – since 2008, believes in respecting the ingredients and in bringing together old and new harmoniously. His ambition is to maintain the level of excellence they have reached today.

The Fete de la Gastronomie and the Fantastic Picnic

To honour its history and its traditions the Burgundy region answered the call to action from the French Government back in 2011, when the Fete de la Gastronomie was first celebrated. Since then the region has made it a priority amongst their promotional actions, to make sure their events reflect the true nature and spirit of Burgundy. The Fantastic Picnics, as they call them, are held throughout the region with many different themes every year.

The Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie

Dijon has been chosen to be one of four cities which will receive a ‘Gastronomy Centre’. The Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie, which will open in 2016, so Dijon’s will pay homage to the local produce that is most associated with the region – wine.

The project includes the redevelopment of a former hospice to include exhibition spaces, a wine library, indoor market, event spaces, wine bar, classroom kitchens, office space, a hotel with vino-therapy spa and 600 apartments and allotments. It’s an ambitious project to officially mark Dijon on the gastronomic map.

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