20th Anniversary of Fêtes Gourmandes


Villeneuve Loubet, Auguste Escoffier's birthplace celebrates 20 years of Fêtes Gourmandes

For twenty years, Villeneuve Loubet has been honoring the memory of Auguste Escoffier, King of Chefs and Chef of Kings, through an inescapable gastronomic event: the "Fêtes Gourmandes," a pioneering gastronomic event that inspired over the years many other culinary events in the region. On July 20, 21 and 22, to celebrate the twentieth anniversary at a time when French cuisine now belongs to UNESCO intangible heritage, the theme was "Tradition and Modernity". Because the best things are the simplest… Cooking demonstrations, exhibitions and cooking classes have testified to the richness of our ancient heritage, from the great chefs' legacy, including our grandmothers' pans.

The evolution of gastronomy since Auguste Escoffier and Pellegrino Artusi up to our today‘s great starred chefs shows us more than ever that gastronomy is an art in itself. Chefs like Jacques Chibois (La Bastide St Antoine - Grasse), Mario D’Orio (Le 3.14 - Cannes), Brigitte Guignery (Le Blanc Manger - La Colle sur Loup), Alain Llorca (Restaurant Llorca - La Colle sur Loup), Christian Plumail (L’Univers - Nice), Francis Scordel (L’Atelier des Saveurs - La Colle sur Loup) made of it a delightful demonstration.

On the stand of the Toques Blanches, cooking classes and workshops dedicated to children and organized by top chefs, mostly disciples of Escoffier, initiated the little ones to gastronomy and this precious heritage given to us, for all to enjoy!

The Fêtes Gourmandes made discover, thanks to the dynamic and unrestrained members of "Toques Brûlées" new trends and new cooking techniques combining art and culture. The young chefs of the association "Les Toques Brulées" revisited traditional dishes and offered their creations around a magical and colorful show. In particular, they made a spectacular demonstration of molecular cuisine with the use of liquid nitrogen. Extreme cold, in fact, cooks as the heat! And they have revisited a few traditional dishes like the Pêche Melba (Auguste Escoffier's creation and worldwide success) renamed Pêche "Bamel" or giving a version of the Quiche Lorraine to be savored with a straw! No Fêtes Gourmandes without Gourmet food market: the market of the terroirs, with stands of Mediterranean products and local French wines, nougats, teas of the world, pressed citrus, organic pancakes, oysters, olive oil and fine spices, etc.

As Villeneuve-Loubet is twinned with the Italian city of Forlimpopoli, a space was dedicated to the Italian market: typical products from the Emilia-Romagna region (honey, wine, oil, meats, cheeses, sweets). During the inauguration, Mr Richard Camou, Mayor of Villeneuve Loubet presented Mr Paolo Zoffoli, Mayor of Forlimpopoli, with the first copy of the French translation of the book "Science In the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well" writen by the myth of Italian cuisine, Pellegrino Artusi, a native of Forlimpopoli.

The Fêtes Gourmandes also presented art exhibitions such as "Portrait of Potatoes" by artist Jean-Louis Gonterre, or "Portrait of fish" in the Museum of History and of Art. Bronze sculptures by Richard Mas, watercolors. by JP. Gault painted cougourdes from Gerard Ellena's collection or Le Potager de Richard Mas, monumental resin works made by the sculptor from Villeneuve. The Escoffier Museum opened in the heart of the master's birth house  presented an unforgettable discovery of the chef's life and work. Besides the permanent exhibition "The Art of Pastry", dedicated to the delicate art and ephemeral creations in sugar and chocolate, the Museum hosted the exhibition Unique (s) on tableware. Wandering groups have shared throughout the weekend variety music from around the world, before the evening concerts.

The youngest were also able to get hands-on experience and give free rein to their imagination through cooking classes, games and contests.




Cooking demonstrations

Gourmet food market

Italian gourmet food market

The Toques Blanches

The Toques Brûlées


Hands-on children activities