In May 2009 the European Commission announced that Marseilles would be the European Capital of Culture in 2013. At a recent press conference hosted by the Chambre de Commerce et Industrie Marseille Provence (CCIMP) President Jacques Pfister, announced that La Poste (French Postal Service) was the first official sponsor of the event with 1.5 million Euros. With over 600 individual project proposals submitted Marseilles 2013 is currently recruiting sponsors who can adopt a project.
Behind the Scenes in Provence
Provence Confidential has been blogging about restaurant launches, cooking classes, food festivals, Provençal wines and spirits as well as tradition and folklore since 2008.
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Or at least in his footsteps by following the big brass studs that are embedded in the sidewalks of Aix en Provence. Drop by the tourism office and ask for the map called "In the steps of Cezanne". The walking tour starts just off the Cours Mirabeau on rue de L’Opera at the place of his birth in 1839 and takes you to various landmarks including his art school which is now the Musee Granet.
Be sure to go Les Halles, the covered market, in Avignon on Sunday February 21, 2010 to celebrate the truffle. Also referred to as the Black Diamond this rare gem will be prepared by 15 of the region's most talented chefs. You can attend one of the demonstrations from 10am - 3 pm. And if you feel like going home with a few of your own you can purchase from the merchants on hand. For more information have a look at www.festiv-halles.com
Each year the Fete de l'Oursin (Sea Urchin Festiva) which is held the first 3 Sundays of February 2010 (7th, 14th , 21st) in the coastal town of Carry-le-Rouet, just west of Marseille, attracts several thousand visitors. The fisherman return to port with boat loads of the key attraction, sea urchins, prickly creatures which are then cut in half and eaten right away.
Although a fair distance from Provence I thought this wine making facility in Bordeaux was really interesting. A company by the name of Crushpad (crushpadwine.fr.) runs a wine making operation targeting individual wine enthusiasts who want to create their own cuvées from the region.
Vatmaker Marc Nomblot has been selling his concrete tanks for over 20 years but he only introduced the egg in 2001. These egg-shaped vats are now all the rage especially with biodynamic winemakers. For the uninitiated biodynamism involves bringing spiritual and holistic elements into the winemaking process.