From the 7th-17 May 2015, the Paris Bread Festival (Fête du Pain) has been celebrating its 20th anniversary on the forecourt of the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris. We stumbled upon it last weekend as our noses led us to the source of the aroma of fresh baked bread permeating the surrounding street.
Organised inside a vast marquee set up opposite Notre-Dame, the event was inaugurated by Anne Hidalgo who is the Mayor of Paris. She presented the Grand Prix for the Best Parisian baguette to Djibril Bodian, a baker who works at 38, rue des Abbesses in the 18th arrondissement. For the coming year, Mr Bodian will have the honour of being the official bread supplier for the Élysée Palace, the residence of the French President.
This year the Bread Festival is run under the slogan: ‘Coucou! Tu as pris le pain ?’ (Hi! Did you take the bread?). People can walk round the expo with different bakers showcasing their bread making skills from all over Paris and sharing their savoir-faire of the ‘artisans-boulangers’. They also explain to onlookers what’s involved in the profession and how to be trained and qualified in the art.
Visitors can watch how to make authentic baguettes and croissants, from the kneading of the dough to the cooking in big modern ovens. And of course, at the end you can also buy what you’ve seen go in the oven which as we say in French “ça se vend comme des petits pains !“
Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. In 2014 he moved back to Europe from Sydney with his wife and daughter to be closer to their families and to France. He has a background teaching French and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations and a degree of Economics and Management.