France, being France, takes its food very seriously indeed. So not surprisingly there's a particular emphasis on food and restaurants in September and October as the days draw in and you're likely to spend more time indoors.
First up is Tous au Restaurant, French Restaurant Week, which runs from Monday September 17th to 23rd. It was started by none other than top chef Alain Ducasse. Restaurants all over France will be taking part with special menus and the offer of one menu bought gives you one complimentary menu. So two can eat for the price of one.
It's followed by La Fete de la Gastronomie on September 22nd, celebrating terroirs, which means the traditions of each particular region as far as its cooking is concerned. The Festival began in 2011 and was inspired by UNESCO's addition of the French gastronomic meal to the list of World Intangible Heritages. It was for the conviviality of the meal rather than the quality.
Events include free food tasting at shops all over France, special food markets, live cooking demonstrations and discounts at restaurants. If you're in Paris or Burgundy, you can catch picnics in locations that vary from vineyards to open-air cafes. For the French, there's a new amateur cooking competition held at differen Relais & Chateaux hotels and cooking schools. The final will be held in Dax, a town north east of Bayonne in the Basque region on September 22nd. In Paris you'll come across gourmet food trucks at different locations serving lunch and dinner with the meals cooked by some of the city's top chefs.
The Festival is taking place not only in France, but also in New York and Tokyo. The reason being that Japan and the U.S. are the two countries which have the largest number of Michelin-starred chefs outside France.
And in October, there's another food event: National Taste Week. More information on all these in the September and October events links below.