The Taste festivals event came to Paris for the second time between February 11 and 14, 2016. I was at Taste of Paris under the nave of the Grand Palais today. Here is what you will find if you have tickets: Food experiments for purchase, some free tastings and a fun atmosphere. If you go early when they open at 11 am until about 12:30, there is a line outside that moves quickly and not long lines inside. If you arrive about 2:30 pm there is no line outside, but long lines inside for each food booth. We bought the basic entry ticket and purchased our credits inside (60 euros on one card). Some of the Taste of Paris chefs, include Michelin star winners. It is worth the visit. Toward the end we were left with four euros on our joint card. I put two more euros on and partied on with a glass on Sauternes at the Alain Ducasse wine bar. We arrived around 12:30 pm, stayed two and a half hours, spent 64 euros for our credits, left satisfied and not hungry. We shared the courses to stretch the experience.
What I recommend
I recommend buying your entry ticket on line to avoid additional waiting outside at the ticket window. Food purchase credits are made by a card (one credit equals one euro). Only the taste credit card is accepted for the chef menus and beverages. A Taste of Paris banker is outside selling credits, but the numerous lines inside at the “Banque” move quickly to purchase your card (credit card only, no cash purchases at the Banque). The two Banques are located on each side of the entry doors. Pick up the hard copy official guide at the door. Inside the guide book menus are shown in English and French.
Kids can play too!
If you want to join in the Electrolux cooking classes (in French), go early and register for a time at the Electrolux stand for the Théâtre des Chefs. Check the Théâtre des Chefs’ page for the instructor/chef and times for the kiddie cooking classes as well. There are demonstration sessions and hands-on cooking sessions.
A good way to start and other hints
Some of the free tastings include caviar, apple juice, Martini products, foie gras, cheese, etc. One of the first fooding spots when you enter is the République Dominicaine (DR). We finally visited this stand mid-way through, and it was a yummy tasting stand: fresh fried plantains, a tiny dish of avocado slice, white rice, red beans and DR chicken, a fruit juice and DR rum. Cost: free for the tasting.
To the left of the entry are the large hotels; otherwise the chefs are scattered around the event. Chef menus are posted at each of the stands.
Battery charging stations are located in various locations. Operated and locked with a fingerprint ID, deposit a “jeton” (fake coin), which are found at the coat check (“vestiaire”) under the “Vin” balloon.
For the next event
If you were quick and bought the “Gourmet” pass on line, pick up your card immediately upon entering the nave of the Grand Palais. The entry price is included and you receive 35 euros of credit. This reservation sold out quickly. It just means you can “hit the floor running” and not stand in line at the Banque”.
Taste festivals are held around the world. The Paris Taste was held in May 2015 and February 2016. The Electrolux Theatre des Chefs representative said Paris will most likely move back to a May event. You can follow them on Facebook, Twitter or sign up for their newsletter for the latest information. Get ready and have fun!
Le festival des chefs au Grand Palais (Taste of Paris)
11 – 14 February 2016
Grand Palais, Nef
For open times go to the Paris.Tastefestival.com website
GRAND PALAIS, GALERIES NATIONALES
3, avenue du Général Eisenhower
Metro : lines 1, 9, 13 / Stations : Franklin-D.-Roosevelt, Champs-Elysées-Clemenceau
RER : lines C / Stations : Invalides
Bus : lines 28, 42, 52, 63, 72, 73, 80, 83, 93