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“Taste of Paris”: One of the World’s Greatest Food Festivals I’ve Been To – La Gourmandista

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“Taste of Paris”: One of the World’s Greatest Food Festivals I’ve Been To

Back in the end of 2011 or early 2012 I once heard someone say that whenever she came to Paris it was very difficult to get good food. As in that moment I was a newbie and could not say much more than a tourist, even though I didn't agree at all with such a statement, I decided to keep my mouth shut and didn't express any opinion whatsoever. Truly, I found that just as in any other place in the globe, good quality food is not given out for free nor does it include the 1€ crêpes sold on the sidewalks by the Latin Quarter -though I have met many who seem to be inexplicably in with them.

Going a little back further down memory lane, I remember my mom saying that if I wanted to get to know a place and its population, one had to look at what they ate, where they went to amuse themselves, and what they read. She always encouraged me to have a palate worth taking adventures, for not only would I learn about places, people, and cultures, but I would also educate my taste. It is true that many times I became more open to new flavors abroad than at home. As an example, I can say that to this day I have no idea why I don't like mamey sapotes; the truth is I have never even tried tasting them, maybe I should give them a real chance next time I get the opportunity to have one bite. Thus, getting to know how Paris tastes took a while. Firstly, it was necessary for me to know its products, its brands, what was industrial, and what was healthy. Then, I discovered the markets, and I was lucky enough to find my preferred merchants. From fruit to cheese, to the . Now there is even room to have a Plan A as well as a Plan B -especially during the month of August, but that's another story.

Evidently, finding the flavors of the restaurants in a city as Paris can take you anywhere and everywhere. There are places of all kinds. I have seen the most “scary” kind of Kebab places where I wouldn't even let my worst enemy eat to what most probably is the most “chic” one on Avenue George V. If I recall for a moment, I talked a little about restaurants around here quite some time ago. I still have a long list of places to go grab a bite, however, I believe progress has been made.

But then, a few months ago I saw an advertisement somewhere –I think it was on social media- regarding an event which promised being extraordinary. Some of the greatest in the country would all be under the same roof for a few days and share a just a tiny bit of their creations with the general public in such a way to allow more people to get to taste exceptional preparations. At first I hesitated, but in the end, and after some of my foodie classmates had given themselves the chance to experience the adventure, we also caved in.

We arrived early, and though we had already gotten our tickets electronically, we had to wait for a moment. Our tickets were then changed for tokens we could use to ‘buy' our food at the pop up restaurants installed. It was like being in a humongous fair with little stands that sold prime quality food. We decided to walk around at first and see what they were all offering, thus allowing ourselves to make the best decision possible regarding our tasting preference. Joël Robuchon and his ‘Atelier' was there, just as Alain Ducasse, Guy Savoy, Frédéric Simonin, Pierre Sang, Kei Kobayashi, Massimiliano Alajmo, and the only woman present among these masters of the stove was Stéphanie Le Quellec just to mention a few of them.

The task was difficult, but we finally decided what to get. Accompanied the lot with a glass of wine or a beer, depending on the choices, we not only ate very good food, but we also discovered places we hadn't considered before as dining options and I even asked some of the chefs for photos as if I were a child behind Mickey Mouse on Disneyland.

By the end of the evening everyone had a full tummy with yummy and decided to go home promising ourselves to continue discovering new addresses that would lead us to new flavors.

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