Emmanuel Macron announced on Sunday, September 26 the establishment of a “centre of excellence” for French gastronomy, to be based in the Lyon region, to defend and promote oral trades in international competitions.
Speaking before the “dinner of the Chefs,” which was held in Lyon in the lounges of the Rhône Prefecture, the Head of State compared this future structure to the football and rugby training centres in Clairefontaine (Yvelines) and Marcoussis (Essonne), where national teams meet before big competitions.
“I agree with rugby and football fans, it is the Marcoussis of cooking and table trades, or the Clairefontaine of these trades,” Emmanuel Macron said in front of 200 guests at this annual gathering of the world’s most renowned chefs and pastry chefs.
He went on to say that this “training and excellence centre for all culinary professions will aim to train to achieve excellence, train for major competitions, and prepare the athletes that you are to win in the name of the colours of France.” He speculated that it might see the light of day in Lyon or its surrounding region, the “epicentre of this excellence.”
This is one of the proposals made by Guillaume Gomez, the former Chef of the Élysée, who became his “personal representative” in the service of “French gastronomy” in February.
In his speech, Emmanuel Macron thanked the chefs present, including Anne-Sophie Pic, Alain Ducasse, Marc Veyrat, Pierre Gagnaire, Amandine Chaignot, and Stéphanie Lequellec, for “standing up” during the Covid-19 crisis despite their restaurants being closed for months.
“You have continued to innovate … Do not lose any of this spirit of conquest for gastronomy, which is at the heart of the art of being French,” he added while stating that American and Asian tourists would return.
He will reinforce this message by attending the 20th International Catering, Hotel, and Food Trade Fair (Sirha), a major global meeting of the sector with 4000 exhibitors, on Monday morning.
In the afternoon, the Head of State will preside over the installation ceremony of the WHO Academy at the Cité Internationale de Lyon, in the presence of its Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghbreyesus.