Neuchâtel Ville du Goût 2017 Launches an Adventurous Culinary Program

Thomas Facchinetti, Conseiller Communal in charge of tourism, Karen Allemann-Yerly, Director of GastroNeuchâtel, and Michel Schlup, from Semaine du Goût, working together for Neuchâtel Ville du Goût 2017. Photo credit: Stefano Iori.

Yesterday at the Muséum d’histoire naturelle de Neuchâtel, I attended a press conference for the official launch of Neuchâtel Ville du Goût 2017, an exciting line-up of “fantastic culinary adventures” featured as part of Switzerland’s 17th annual Semaine du Goût (week of taste). The museum hosted the launch event because of its current exhibition, Manger, la mécanique du ventre(Eating, the mechanics of the stomach). This exhibition opened in November 2016 as one of the first events tied to the city’s status as the Ville du Goût.

The City of Neuchâtel initially learned of its special designation as the Ville du Goût last fall during the Fête des Vendanges (wine harvest festival). While this year’s Semaine du Goût runs from September 14-24, 2017, the many events associated with Neuchâtel as the “city of taste” will occur throughout the year. The first event, Festin Neuchatelois, a massive feast held at 12 restaurants, takes place already on March 12. One of the last events currently planned is Chocolatissimo, the region’s annual chocolate festival which runs from November 4 to 11.

This year marks the first time a city within the canton of Neuchâtel has been selected as the Ville du Goût, which provides an exceptional opportunity to share the gastronomic heritage of this cantonal capital, as well as its surrounding communities, with all of Switzerland and beyond. Absinthe, cheese, chocolate, bread, wine, fish from Lake Neuchâtel and much more will be highlighted throughout the food festival, which celebrates the diversity and quality of these regional products.

If you have never traveled to this area of Switzerland and want to discover its unique produits du terroir, the events planned for Neuchâtel Ville du Goût 2017 will certainly give you a good introduction to its delicious regional foods.

Video courtesy of the Ville de Neuchâtel. Produced by Atelier U-Zehn.

In addition to an incredible selection of new events this year — such as workshops, a pop-up dinner and Toreé en Ville (a traditional way to cook Saucisson neuchâtelois), as well as a street food festival for “Les Gloutons du Lac”— Neuchâtel Ville du Goût 2017 is taking advantage of existing events and organizations. For example, the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival (June 30 to July 8, 2017) and Nuit des musées (May 20), will both have a greater emphasis on regional foods this year.

The Association Neuchâtel a du Goût is also working with the Service des parcs and promenades. This City department will be developing a “Voyage des Saveurs” with edible and aromatic plants in the public parks of Neuchâtel. I was particularly interested in its plan to recreate Jardin Anglais under the theme of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Local school and other cultural institutions, such as the Muséum d’histoire naturelle de Neuchâtel, are also involved, as the Semaine du Goût has an educational component, to increase awareness of culinary traditions and nutritional eating habits, and to encourage the production and consumption of local foods.

After yesterday’s press conference, I am eager to take advantage of the exciting culinary events planned for Neuchâtel Ville du Goût 2017 and will continue to keep you updated on the program as it evolves! For more information and for the complete program (in French), please visit neuchatelvilledugout2017.ch.

Related article: Neuchâtel Announced as 2017 Ville du Goût (September 30, 2016)

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