Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France, birthplace of bouchons (as well as Paul Bocuse and Daniel Boulud) and foodie city par excellence, will be crowned with another culinary jewel this fall.
Opening October 19, 2019, the much-anticipated La Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie will cement Lyon’s status as a mecca for food lovers the world over. Part museum, part sensory experience, part anthropological study, the Cité explores the most fundamental experience of humankind—preparing, cultivating, gathering around, and eating food.
The mission of the Cité
As one of the hallmarks of humanity, cuisine shows us who we are, what we’re made of, and what we value. The mission of the Cité International de la Gastronomie is to reflect this back to ourselves.
“The purpose is proposing a vision of culinary culture, where excellence, diversity and openness are the guiding principles that will give life to this historic monument” according to Michelin-starred chef Régis Marcon, President of the Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie Strategic Orientation Committee.
The Cité not only represents a journey through the pleasures of the table, but will also explore the related themes of health, well-being, and the famous French concept of art de vivre.
Gastronomy in brick-and-mortar
These values of the institution are made manifest in the very layout of the Cité—the four floors of over 4000 square meters (43055 square feet) are dedicated to various themes. The second floor houses the permanent exhibit dedicated to gastronomy (designed by Casson Mann). The third is home to the Gastro’Lab (a workshoping and coworking space for culinary professionals) and the Miam Miam space, a family-friendly interactive approach to instruct visitors about food cycles and consumption. Temporary exhibits and an open kitchen for tastings will live on the top floor.
The very edifice of the Cité is linked to the care of body and soul—Lyon’s Grand Hôtel-Dieu is a landmark former hospital on the banks of the Rhone, turned luxurious hotel and culture complex. The Cité occupies the oldest standing part of the domed building, dating from between the 16th and 18th centuries.
Lyon: a foodie paradise
There is perhaps no more natural fit for the Cité than the city that created nouvelle cuisine. While all corners of France have their own distinctive (and delicious!) delicacies, Lyon is particularly associated with gastronomic excellence, with more restaurants per capita here than in New York.
From the classic facade to the culinary interior, the Cité de la Gastronomie is Lyon, through and through.