Fête de la Gastronomie
As a partner for the Fête de la Gastronomie 2016, I was able to sit down for an interview with Michel Guérard, the Michelin-star chef and sponsor of this event. Below Michel Guérard lets us in on his thoughts on the art of welcoming and the Fête de la Gastronomie.
You were chosen back in 2012 to sponsor ‘La Fête de la Gastronomie’; what does this festival represent for you? What message did you want to communicate?
I have indeed had the honor of sponsoring the first and second ‘Fête de la Gastronomie.’ The messages that we wanted to support during these two occasions were the importance of terroir (the importance of preserving the memory of culinary region, its recipes, and preventing a certain uniformity from taking place) and handcrafted work (instilling praise for handmade work). This ‘Fête,’ whose media presence has grown, is a wonderful event that allows us to highlight all those professions that make up French gastronomy.
What is your definition of the French art of welcoming? In what way is French gastronomy related to this art of welcoming? How do you reinterpret it?
Historically, the French art of welcoming and gastronomy are intimately linked because the latter was developed in the time of the monarchy, in the 17th and 18th centuries. The king, as well as some of the Noble houses, used worldly event or simple dinners to show off their might. Cuisine was thus a way to impress.
In my opinion, and to speak from a more contemporary vantage, the French art of welcoming corresponds to an authentic, elegant (and not necessarily luxurious) staging of the home and the table, which also takes account the well-being of the guest while seeing to his comfort. It must allow for the guest to appreciate the meaning of the space, which most often takes place through the kitchen.
What are the keys to success that allow a restaurant to create memorable experiences for its clients?
Warmth and simplicity are the best tools for allowing your guests to enjoy an experience concocted with sensitivity and passion.
Laurent Delporte, an editor and conference speaker, is a strategic expert in the sector of hotels. A visionary, he brings his unique look on hotels in service to the decision-makers in the industry, whether to enhance the development of new projects or strategic visions.
Laurent has visited and audited over 350 hotels across the world and also participates in mystery visits to provide quality control for the world’s finest hotels.