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The Spirit of Paris Gastronomy: Revolutions and Evolutions in French Cuisine

With over 100 Michelin-starred restaurants, today Paris boasts the very best dining the world has to offer. 
Traditional dishes, international cuisine and now Bistonomie or molecular cuisine; find the best of French cuisine in one of our AccorHotels’ restaurant.

Parisian cuisine has never been more international, and yet the classics of French gastronomy attract new devotees.

There could be no better metaphor for the history and evolution of French cuisine than the official motto of the city of Paris: “Fluctuat Nec Mergitur”, meaning “Tossed by the waves, yet she does not sink.”  The unique character of cooking in the French capital has remained buoyant through wars, plagues and revolutions, and today Paris boasts the very best dining the world has to offer, with over 100 Michelin-starred restaurants. From the decadence of the Ancien Régime to the audacity of today's experimental chefs creating the new “bistronomie”, dining in Paris is an ever-changing gastronomic adventure celebrating the best of France's bounty.

The crème de la crème for France's elite

Home to kings and emperors, Paris has always had a flair for fine foods presented with pomp and drama. Louis XIV hosted legendary banquets that elevated the role of chef to artist, using a palette of ingredients to create opulent concoctions. Gifted chefs created French cuisine's iconic rich, creamy sauces and made the most of the fresh fruits and vegetables that represent France's diverse terroirs: apples, grapes, pears, green beans, asparagus, artichokes, mushrooms, peas, and truffles. While the nobles feasted, commoners filled up on hearty dishes that have evolved into culinary classics such as cassoulet, boudin sausages and pâté de campagne. Today's bustling brasseries still build their menus around crowd-pleasing traditional dishes like coq au vin, steak frites and choucroute, while their dessert menus feature sweets – Paris-Brest, millefeuilles, and gateaux au chocolat – to please the noblest of palates.

Liberté, Egalité, Hospitality

After the 1789 French Revolution, chefs turned from cooking for aristocrats in châteaux, to serving the public in towns and cities. Cast-iron ovens churned out soufflés, pâtisseries and gratins as the fashion for dining out took hold. The affluent “haute bourgeoisie” gathered around elegant towers of shellfish or sugary confections, velvety foie gras, tender beef fillets, pheasants and sole. The middle classes, meanwhile, headed to restaurants around Les Halles, Paris' massive and storied wholesale food market, to dine on mushroom omelettes, cheese-crusted onion soup and trout Meunière, and garlicky snails – escargots à la Bourguignonne. For hungry workers, simple “bouillon” eateries like the ever-popular Chartier provided hearty broths, stews, roast chickens and steak tartare.
Scribe Paris
Paris kitchens open their doors to the world

The dynamic changes of the 20th century revitalized Parisian cuisine by opening the kitchen to influences from Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Indeed, the influence of France's former colonies in Africa and South-east Asia continues to add spice to Paris menus. Couscous and bánh mì are staples of local dining, while sushi spots sit cheek-by-jowl with bagel shops and couscous places vying for Parisian appetites. “Bistronomie” is the keyword for a new generation offering internationally-inflected, gourmet dining experiences at affordable prices. Chefs continue the revolutionary tradition by experimenting with molecular cuisine, raw “cooking” and unorthodox reinterpretations of traditional dishes. Unlike the Escoffier-trained chefs of yesteryear, today's rising stars are often self-taught and inspired by everything from haute cuisine to street food. You're as likely to find them at a food truck as in a formal restaurant.

Remembrance of things past

While Asian flavours and Middle Eastern spices find their way into French recipes, though, yet another wave is building: an appreciation for the comfort foods of old. A tasty croque monsieur, a savoury buckwheat crèpe with a bowl of Breton cider, mussels and addictive fries – these classics never lose their appeal. The one element of Paris cuisine that never changes, though, is the commitment to using the highest quality ingredients. France's incredible profusion of the finest meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, cheeses and wines ensures that dining in the City of Light will always be an epicurean delight.

AccorHotels presents the best of French cuisine

Paris sparkles with almost 200 AccorHotels at all price levels. They share a common goal: to treat their visitors to a meal that celebrates the history and future of Parisian gastronomy. 
An gourmet experience awaits at La Table du Baltimore with cuisine offering authentic flavours of fresh produce at the fore. At the Sofitel Paris Arc de Triomphe, Les Cocottes, serving creations by famed chef Christian Constant in a chic bistro setting. 
Authentic cuisine from France's varied terroirs is the focus at Culinaire Bazaar in the Hotel Pullman Roissy CDG Airport . Gather for a cosy meal at Novotel Café the Novotel Paris Gare de Lyon – the heart of the capital's long-lived love affair with food. Whichever of our restaurants you choose, whether for lunch or dinner, our teams look forward to welcoming you to a wonderful gastronomic experience.

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