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” has been planned as part of Switzerland’s 17th annual Semaine du Goût. The museum hosted the launch event because of its current exhibition, “Manger, la mécanique du ventre.” This exhibition opened in November 2016 as one of the first events tied to the city’s status as the Ville du Goût.

Ville du Goût for the Semaine du Goût

The City of Neuchâtel initially learned of its special designation as the Ville du Goût last fall during the Fête des Vendanges. 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. It 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.

If you’ve never traveled to Neuchâtel and want to discover its cuisine, these events will certainly provide a good introduction.

Trailer: Neuchâtel as the City of Taste

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

There will be a number of new events this year. These will include 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.” At the same time, Neuchâtel Ville du Goût 2017 will also highlight existing events and organizations. For example, the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival and Nuit des musées 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.” It will be featuring 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 schools and cultural institutions, such as the Muséum d’histoire naturelle de Neuchâtel, are also involved. The Semaine du Goût has an educational component. It works to increase awareness of culinary traditions and nutritional eating habits. In addition, it encourages 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 in 2017. I will continue to keep you updated on the program as it evolves!

Updated: December 30, 2022

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