My final travel assignment of the year was a return trip to Lyon.
France’s foodie hub is one of my favourite French cities for food and culture.
While my main commission was based around the Lyon Light Festival, I also had a look behind the scenes at the newly opened Cité de la Gastronomie.
The site is located next to the InterContinental hotel in the redeveloped Grand Hôtel-Dieu [pictured above].
The historic city-centre building served as its former hospital from the 15th century onwards.
The Lyon opening is the first of four similar projects — coming soon to Dijon, Tours and later Paris-Rungis in time for the 2024 Olympic Games.
The network celebrates the 2010 designation by Unesco of the French gastronomic meal to its Intangible Heritage list.
Each site will examine a different aspect of French gastronomy with Lyon’s foodie hub focused on the relationship between food and health.
The exhibition explores the history of gastronomy with a section devoted to Lyon’s most famous chef, Paul Bocuse, who died in 2018.
The upstairs kitchen, meanwhile, hosts guest chefs from across the world to create new tasting menus.
“The French gastronomic meal was given Unesco status because of the way it brings people together,” says Director Florent Bonnetin.
“It’s the community aspect of eating together that is the single most defining aspect of French life.”
Read more about my Lyon trip, both the Light Festival and the Cite de la Gastronomie, in articles to be published in the new year.
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