Feb 16th, 2016, 11:13 PM

Ready, Set, Taste!

By Sophia Khatsenkova
Image Credit: Charlotte Louise Raiser
After last year’s thundering success, Taste of Paris returns for its second edition attracting more than 27,000 attendees in just four days.

Bike for a smoothie, relax in the luxury airline cabin of Etihad airways, attend a cooking class taught by famous chefs and savor more than 50 signature dishes prepared by the best connoisseurs of French cuisine. Held under the sparkling dome of the Grand Palais, Taste of Paris is the foodie flagship event of the year. From February 11 to February 14, the festival invites its participants to discover the culinary world through the eyes and taste buds of 18 celebrated chefs.

This year, legends such as Alain Ducasse and Guy Savoy, to up-and-coming talent like Juan Arbelaez (Plantxa) and Rafael Gomes (Grand Coeur), set up 18 temporary restaurants offering attendees the chance to try their mini-bite sized signature dishes at a reasonable price range of 5-12€ per dish. Some highlights this year include Grand Coeur’s lamb shoulder confit, Guy Savoy’s artichoke and black truffle soup, and Yann Couvreur’s toasted brioche with Goat’s milk frozen mousse.

Founded in London in 2004, these Taste Festivals now take place in all four corners of the world. Taste of Paris established itself in the City of Light last year. The number of participants nearly doubled from last year’s 16,000 event goers and the chefs are expected to serve approximately 900 plates per session. Thomas Rossi, executive sous-chef at Yeeels explained that “the event serves to show the public behind-the-scenes of our job. It shows the atmosphere of a restaurant kitchen.”

Taste of Paris also gives the opportunity for its partner supporters to showcase their products. From famous brands such as Porsche to lesser known ones such as popcorn master Propercorn, all 112 exhibitors have the chance to present their newest creations and appeal to an international clientele while they chow down. Inger, marking director of Salma, a Nowergian salmon company, said that “Taste of Paris provides us with the perfect target group."

"[The event] allows the public to discover our cuisine," explained Mercedes Castillo, director of the Dominican Republic Tourism Office, "which is an important aspect of our daily lifestyle and culture."

The festival allows for event-goers to attend either the lunch or dinner sessions for the price of 15€ and 18€ respectively. This entrance fee gives you access to the event and allows you to sample the wide range of artisanal products showcased by partners. In order to eat at the pop-up restaurants, a card with rechargeable credits--the only payment method accepted at the event--had to be bought at the entrance.

However, Taste of Paris is not simply a sample-fest. Attendees also have the opportunity of participating in seminars and cooking classes with famous chefs. A reservation for this ahead of time is crucial since all the spots fill up weeks in advance.

Taste of Paris brings the warmth and comfort of good food to its atmosphere by offering the ideal setting for meeting, exchanging and discovering. Food is a very communal and social activity, and Taste of Paris captures this ambiance.

Photography by Charlotte Louise Raiser