France 24 in your hotel room


(Relaxnews) - France has announced plans to export a major gastronomy festival to New York City and Tokyo this fall, in the aim of promoting French cuisine around the world.

Launched last year, La Fête de la Gastronomie hosted 4,380 epicurean and food-related events across the country, where starred chefs opened the doors to their normally exclusive kitchens, bakers invited the public behind the counter, and whole cities hosted outdoor picnics.

New York and Tokyo aren’t haphazard choices, as organizers chose to expand the festival to the cities that boast the largest number of Michelin-starred chefs outside France.

Created by the French secretary of state in the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry Frédéric Lefebvre, the gastronomy festival this year will be themed around the concept of ‘terroir’ or local, regional and traditional foods.

In 2010, the rites of French gastronomy -- wine-matching, table dressing, the placement of glasses and cutlery, and the fixed structure of the meal -- were admitted into UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

A full traditional French meal must start with an apéritif or drinks to whet the appetite, followed by a starter, a fish or meat with vegetables, a cheese course and dessert at a bare minimum.

La Fête de la Gastronomie is scheduled for September 22.