Sunday, May 30, 2010

Meet the City That Is Hosting the Festival

Dijon! The name evokes delectable cuisine, fabulous architecture, and magnificent art. The city is perhaps most renowned for its culinary delights: jambon persillé, consisting of morsels of ham and chopped parsley set in wine gelatin; poulet Gaston-Gérard, a chicken dish made with wine, Dijon mustard, and Gruyère cheese, named after a mayor of the city; pain d'épices, a spice bread made with rye, honey, and anise; nonnette de Dijon, a spice cake made with honey and orange marmalade; and crème de cassis de Dijon, a sweet, blackcurrent liqueur, which, when mixed with white wine, makes kir, a popular apéritif in France.

As for fabulous architecture, the remarkable Palace of the Dukes and Estates of Burgundy stands in the heart of the city. It contains representative architecture from the 14th, 15th, 17th, and 18th centuries, including the Tower of Philip the Good (15th century), which affords a spectacular view of the city.

The beautiful Musée des Beaux-Arts, one of the largest museums in France, is the pride of the city. Its collections display masterworks of European art from the Middle Ages to the end of the 20th century, as well as Egyptian art from Antiquity and art from the Greco-Roman era.

All of these attractions—plus the three-day 4-14 Festival celebrating food, music, and Franco-American friendship—make Dijon a great place to visit this summer. See you there!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Meet the Man behind the Festival

I once overheard Alex Miles say, "I like to do things!", and those who were in Dijon on the weekend of July 10, 11, and 12, 2009 will testify that he likes to do things in a big way. Alex is the creator of the 4-14 Festival, an event that brings together American and French musicians and chefs to celebrate friendship, food, music, and fun. Though only 5,000 were expected, 15,000 persons showed up for the first festival last year! With such an outpouring of interest and enthusiasm from the public, Alex knew that his brainchild was a success. He is working passionately to bring the second annual festival to Dijon for the weekend of July 9, 10, and 11 2010.

Alex brings a lot of experience to the task of creating a great culinary event. He has worked as a pastry chef, a radio host interviewing authors of books about food, a lecturer on the sociology and history of food, a consultant for a number of companies in the food industry, including Lenôtre Paris and Cointreau America...the list goes on!

This year, American chefs from the town of New Orleans will be participating in the event. Alex will be flying there soon, and promises to come back with some great photos. Stay tuned!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Welcome to the 4-14 Festival Blog!


I'm Tom Reeves. Those of you who follow my blog Paris Insights know about my passion for Paris. For the next few weeks, I'll be turning my attention to another city that I like – Dijon – and a great festival that will take place there in July. Dijon is a beautiful city of 156,000 inhabitants that lies in the Burgundy region of France, only 312 kilometers from Paris. High-speed rail links the two cities, so it is easily accessible by train.

The festival is called the 4-14 Festival. It is organized around four principal themes: French-American friendship, food, music,!

Please join me here every week for information about the festival: the organizers, the participants, and the city itself. And get ready to come to Dijon on the weekend of July 9, 10, and 11 – it's going to be a great party!