Friday, April 14, 2023

Paris, Capitale de la Gastronomie/ La Conciergerie Part1


When I was visiting Sainte-Chapelle I saw this poster announcing the brand, new exhibition, Paris, Capital of Gastronomie at La Conciergerie.

The next day I wrote, called, begged them to let me attend the preview🙏. 
They said “How fast can you get here?” I said , “In 10 minutes!” They said OK. I was still in my PJs…
I raced over, out of breath, just in time to join the brilliantly guided tour by Professor Stéphane Solier explain in witty detail (and in French) everything there is to know about Parisian food history. His specialty is medieval gluttony.
I’m going back today to catch the missed medieval period of Paris.
This is such a richly graphic and visual exhibit on the history of Parisian cuisine.
The only thing missing is the scent of baguettes baking in the fore.

Or piped-in aromas of bœuf Bourguignon stewing.

And a small cafe on the premises would have been appreciated.

The origins of Soupe d’oignon are explored, starting with the soupiers at Les Halles dishing out bouillon
 to the blue-collar workers.

You can still get the same soup today 7/24 

At Au Pied de Cochon 
very close 

To the original site of Les Halles, sadly demolished in 1971.

All of this is from the exhibit section titled, The Belly of Paris/ Ventre de Paris, the title of Emile Zola’s famous novel (1873).

There are many videos to watch if you’re enthralled
 with this period of Paris history as I am.

Plus a big exhibit mural.

Afascinating 1 hour film is from Archive INA is playing at the exhibit.

There are 5 course or sections to this exhibit; Medieval history, The Belly of Paris, the invention of the restaurant, bread & pastry, the influence of Paris cuisine.
Which is why I must go back for more immersion.

I highly recommend listening to podcasts On Va Deguster on France INTER by Francois-Regis Gaudry to improve your French…obviously I have been listening for a long time 😂 note my ancient iPod..
Francois-Regis Gaudry, Stéphane Solier and Loic Bienassis curated this show, plus collaborated on the new book 📕 On Va Deguster Paris.
Part of a wonderful on-going food info series (Italy, France). I wish they weren’t such big heavy books. You can’t easily carry them around or take on a trip. But I digress, as usual (at least now I can blame it on being ADD - we are very easily distracted 😵‍💫). 
Being a French jam fanatic, I felt I must ask Professor Solier, “where is Christine Ferber?”
“Where is the French Confiture/jam section? He giggled,  said he Loved Christine Ferber but they were focusing on Paris products. Oh 🤔 
Much more to come dear PBers very soon. 
Meanwhile do drop in on my etsy shop ❤️ 
The Paris Gastronomie exhibit is on till 16 July at La Conciergerie on 2, bd du Palais, 75001
                    🥄🍾🫖 ☕️ Are you enticed? ☕️🫖🍾🥄
                               *TO BE CONTINUED*


  1. Anonymous7:30 AM

    Unable to stay up all night (the tourists' traditional route before visiting Les Halles), in the summer of 1967 my mom and I set an alarm for 4 a.m., crept quietly out of our hotel room and went to greet the dawn and the merchants and their wares. We intended to finish our tour with onion soup of course -- but, to our surprise, on an empty stomach we found the idea absolutely unappealing. Settled happily into the crowded restaurant for coffee and croissants instead, and then headed back to the hotel room for a nap!

    1. Anonymous8:02 AM

      Wonderful memory to have ! Lucky you.

  2. Oh Carol, I loved this post! Fascinating exhibit & held in the Conciergerie no less! Marvelous old photos. I have had that great onion soup from Au Pied de Cochon. Can’t wait until you share part two of your visit!🗼❤️

    1. Anonymous8:02 AM

      Thank you Ga. Yes a terrific exhibit !

  3. Anonymous8:24 AM

    Lovely post, I am really interested and most probably will hit Paris soon. Middle-age history and the gastronomy of the era is one of my academic interests. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Oh how I wish I could visit this expo! I read the book about Antoine Carême a few years ago after you recommended it. This is all so fascinating!

  5. I'd be first in line for this one. I'm interested in that period as well and would find the films fascinating, as well as the history. I wonder how long this continues. Probably not into October...

    1. Anonymous2:27 PM

      July 16 is the last day Jeanie. 3 months duration.

  6. Bonnie L10:38 AM

    How serendipitous for you to see that poster for the exhibit, Carol! Fabulous! Imho, au Pied du Cochon has the best onion soup in Paris. Lucky you, yum! Thanks for including the links to the films of old les Halles. Looking forward to part two of your visit to the exhibit. ❤️

    1. Anonymous2:25 PM

      What would I do without serendipity? It was lucky 🍀 too to spot it the day before the preview.

  7. Ann Scarff11:16 AM

    I may just speed up my return to Paris to see this exhibit! You make it so fascinating! And I want the book (in English).
    You are truly in the right place at the right time with your skills, talent, and interests!

    1. Anonymous2:23 PM

      Thank you Ann. I’m sure the Paris book will be translated in time. It just came out.

  8. Anonymous11:47 AM

    Dying to go to this and will be in Paris! But are info blurbs in English too? I don’t want to drag spouse along for an experience she would find annoying.

    1. Anonymous2:22 PM

      YES! Every single label is translated in English! Well-writen, informative and LEGIBLE! Easy to read too. Very good point. I will show a sample ‘etiquette’ next post. Only writers could figure out this simple thing 👏👏👏

  9. sukicart1:47 PM

    WOW! I would so love this exhibit but, alas, it is ending too soon. Looking very forward to your return and part 2.

  10. Anonymous2:02 PM

    This was fun and the onion soup looks good too I was surprised they had no place to eat at such a big affair. Lynne

    1. Anonymous2:07 PM

      It’s a massive medieval dungeon - not the best venue for a restaurant 😊

    2. Anonymous2:11 PM

      I Would have loved to be in Paris for that gastronomy exhibit. Not to be viewed on an empty stomach? You did the savvy thing…hightailing it over to Pied de Cochon for onion soup. 🥣 👏🏻 Do they still give pink meringue pigs at the end of your meal? I love it there. Dorrance

    3. Anonymous2:12 PM

      I went to Brasserie Balzar - much closer..A classic bistro from 1886 👍

  11. Anonymous2:13 PM

    I checked out the link on that book…On va déguster…unfortunately only in French. But, it is in paperback. I Must subscribe to their radio program. Lawrence

    1. Anonymous2:14 PM

      Their Paris book is brand new. I feel sure ot will be translated. The France book was.

  12. Anonymous2:16 PM

    Going down the rabbit hole of old les Halles videos…fascinating. Wish I could have seen the old market (like some of your readers), before it was all torn down. Roberto

  13. Adrien4:33 AM

    I love the last photo of the women fishmongers, they look as if they have really got into the spirit of la gastronomie! 😁

  14. Anonymous6:41 PM

    Please do PART 2!!! Did you know that Gaudry’s book is coming out in ENGLISH - in mid October? I’ve asked for it as a Christmas gift. The pages shown on Amazon look wonderful. Plenty of useful info, plus recipes from our favorite restaurants!


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