For centuries, Paris has shone like a beacon above the tables. Even if other big cities on the planisphere try to deprive it of its title of “capital of gastronomy”, no one has succeeded in dethroning it. Since “world cuisine” has spread, it is still on the banks of the Seine that the skills of masters from elsewhere come to be forged, not without bequeathing their own culinary heritage, after having adapted them.
From Paris escapes a particular aroma. We laugh there more than reason. From its kitchens where scullions, sauce and pastry cooks, roasters and sommeliers bustle about, spontaneous generations of prestigious chefs have arisen, now joined by great female figures, too long relegated to the relegation of household arts.
In Paris, the art of the table is celebrated with pomp and consistency. We know how to mix traditions of taste and revolutions of the palate in this effervescent melting pot of intellectual and political life. A large exhibition, in the setting of the Salle des gens d’armes of the Conciergerie, offers the menu of a historical wandering. From culinary inventions to the supply circuits of the “belly of Paris”, immortalized by Zola. From the memorable banquet of Charles V in 1378, under the vaults of this refectory, to the ostentatious feasts organized by kings, emperors and presidents of the Republic, prestigious receptions where the reputation of France is at stake. Crowned heads and heads of state entertained by our great starred chefs, nothing is ever too good to remind passing guests of the magnificence of our dishes and the sophistication of their preparation.
Along the way, we explore the culinary repertoire from the delicate pianists of haute cuisine to the good-natured cooks of scoundrel dishes, from the great restaurants, products of the Revolution, to the popular broths where one feasted for three francs six cents. We find ourselves immersed in the hubbub of the Baltard halls, in front of gargantuan stalls and mountains of food brought in overnight from all over France, before their transfer in 1969 to Rungis, far from the heart of Paris. We salute with gratitude the memory of Antonin Carême, the misnamed inventor inspired by modern pastry.
Like Parisians of various origins, converted to the tastes of others, the gastronomy of the capital is enriched by constantly renewed contributions, from the terroirs of the old country to the provinces of the world. Paris is a feast of flavors.