Be my guest!

My Concierge Told Me

The French, they are in love. In love with food. You might object that everybody everywhere enjoys a nice, tasty meal, not only in France. Right. But France is different – and especially Paris. The Parisians are simply mad about food and Paris remains, no matter what others might think or say, THE gastronomic capital of the world.

Now September will be especially hot for foodies here: From Monday 17th to Sunday 23 of September, France is celebrating its gastronomy with a special event called “Tous au restaurant”, which literally means everyone to the Restaurant. It’s the famous chef Alain Ducasse who initiated the week. “We shouldn’t rest on our laurels”, Ducasse said during a press conference today and added: “It has nothing to do with promotion, it’s all about the celebration of French gastronomy here.”

Two-for-one

With two-for-one deals, they try to tempt a new clientele of would-be gourmands who have never dared to push open the door of a fancy restaurant, afraid to leave with life-long debts once the dessert is done. The motto is: “Your guest is our guest”.

More than 1000 restaurants all over the country are participating, among them some of the best in France. Besides Ducasse’s three Paris restaurants (Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenée, Le Jules Verne, Benoit) and his famous Louis XV in Monaco, a number of others Michelin-starred restaurants (think Helene Darroze, Carré des Feuillantes and the Meurice with Yannick Aleno to name just a few).

Lunch overlooking Paris

Last year, 400 000 people participated. So you better hurry up to book your table or a place in the restaumobile, a resto-truck that will park at emblematic spots in Paris and serve 80 meals at lunch-time every day (45 Euros for two) and dinner (70 Euros for two), helmed by a different chef.

Be under no illusion: the real sport now is to bag a reservation. They are only a couple of tables in every restaurant. Reservation starts tomorrow morning at 10 am on the dot for Tous au Restaurant. And, as you know, only the early bird catches the worm!

Photo: © AFP, Fred Dufour
Alain Ducasse and other French chefs: ”You'll be my guest!” © Sophie ROBICHON/Mairie de Paris