The Valence en Gastronomie Festival returns for its seventh year next month and promises its usual smorgasbord of tastings, demonstrations, masterclasses and more tastings!
As far as agricultural excellence and gastronomy goes, the Drôme and the Ardèche score highly. Nearly 20% of the agricultural land is organically farmed, the area boasts many gourmet products and wine appellations, and it is home the most starred chef in the world, Anne-Sophie Pic. The Valence en Gastronomie Festival creates a farm to fork experience that gives pride of place to the very best of the region. Over the weekend of the festival, which last year attracted nearly 55,000 visitors, 100-plus local gastronomic companies, plus the best chefs and producers of the region offer the public a magical chance to discover the local gastronomy, combining excellence with a thoroughly good time.
On the menu in this historic city from September 9 to 11, you’ll find the traditional Pagodas aux Goûtatou, where local artisans and foodie experts offer the public delicious tastings. This year, they will be on the Place des Ormeaux and the Champ de Mars and prebooking online is recommended. On the Place des Clercs, there’s a full roster of masterclasses in the Labo des Chefs, a chance to watch the region’s greatest chefs at work. Young gourmands haven’t been forgotten either: throughout the weekend, youngsters will be able to enjoy the Children’s Market, the Ciné-Goûter at Lux and take part in courses by great chefs at the Labo des P’tits Chefs. Pastry and pizza are also highlighted, for those not watching their waistbands, at the Concours amateur du Suisse and the Atelier Pizza du Panyol, while in Saint John’s Square, you can explore the Twin Cities Market, which promises an unparalleled sensory experience revealing the countries intimately linked to Valence. Conferences, foodie books and an exhibition on Wines and Paintings at the Museum of Valencia combine to make the festival, which has been awarded the 2022 Year of Gastronomy Label by the government, a thoroughly cultured affair.
Don’t peak too soon, though – there is evening entertainment planned too. On Friday evening, enjoy a magical stroll and discover the 10 starred gastronomic houses of Drôme-Ardèche as part of La Nuit des Étoilés, which offers the chance to taste a string of gourmet dishes for only €49. Be sure to book in advance via the website, though, as it’s expected to be popular.
On Saturday evening, the Papilles dans les Étoiles promises magical, pyrotechnic and musical shows to be enjoyed while tasting delicious meals from the food trucks present – and even better, this event is free to everyone! Finally, round off your culinary experience on Sunday with the Closing Gala, which highlights the restaurateurs of the Place des Clercs.
And of course, it wouldn’t be French cuisine without wine and Valence has some excellent labels. Learn while you taste at the Festival Wine Bar. Santé!