Lausanne and its surrounding region are considered to be a place of exceptionally fine food, given the extraordinarily high number of restaurants awarded stars, toques, flowers and other marks of quality. Fredy Girardet, named chef of the century by leading French food critics, has made a significant contribution to the region’s standing in terms of prestigious restaurants. He was succeeded as the head of the Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville in Crissier by Philippe Rochat, with 3 Michelin stars and 19 GaultMillau points. In April 2012 its head chef Benoît Violier took over the reins, in parallel opening a catering college intended for both professionals and amateur lovers of good food, as well as for children. The GaultMillau Suisse guide has crowned him “Chef of the Year 2013” and confirmed his rating of 19 out of 20. Among the other great restaurants in the Lausanne urban area, mention must be made of Anne-Sophie Pic, who works at the Beau-Rivage Palace Lausanne and has 2 Michelin stars and 18 GaultMillau points, Le Cerf run by Carlo Crisci in Cossonay (2 Michelin stars / 18 GaultMillau points), L’Ermitage with Bernard Ravet in Vufflens-le-Château (1 Michelin star / 19 GaultMillau points) and “La Table d’Edgard” at the Lausanne Palace (1 Michelin star / 17 GaultMillau points).
Apart from these prestigious distinctions, the city of Lausanne and the surrounding area have over 320 establishments dedicated to good food. Typical auberges, century-old brasseries and terraces with views of the lake serve regional cuisine prepared with local produce, both from the land – papet vaudois (leek and cabbage sausage), cochonnaille, charcuterie, cheese-based dishes, tarte à la raisinée – and from the lake, including fillets of perch, fera and char caught in Lake Geneva. Backpackers, students, families, individuals, epicureans, groups and businessmen will find on the menu in Lausanne restaurants a vast choice of cuisines, styles, ambiances and prices to cater for their tastes and their pockets. From young and trendy venues to exotic and ethnic establishments, from business meals to candle-lit dinners, with traditional bars in between – the oldest of which, the Pinte Besson, has been around for 235 years – or meals served during cruises on ships operated by the Compagnie générale de navigation, this diversity makes an undeniable contribution to the city’s reputation for the art of living and good hospitality.
Lausanne is involved in numerous associations and initiatives related to gastronomy, which also helps to raise its profile far and wide. The city is affiliated with “Délice”, for example, along with 21 other destinations chosen in a rigorous selection process. The objective of this network of the world’s good food cities, created in 2007, is to link up and promote cities all around the world that are known for their gastronomic tradition, the savoir-faire of their professionals, the excellence of their products and the richness of their art of living when it comes to culinary matters.
Every year, “Lausanne à Table!” holds around thirty events spread between June and September. They include the Grande Table des Lausannois, the Tables Uniques en Cuisine, the wine-growers market, chocolac (a cruise on the lake during which you can sample some great vintage chocolate), gourmet trips, Restaurant Day, the August 1st Picnic, and finally the “Best Chocolate in Lausanne” competition, won in 2014 by the Confiserie Nessi.
Among the other events related to good food, let us also mention the Gastronomia trade fair, which takes place at MCH Beaulieu Lausanne in November and attracts over 150 exhibitors. Its originality is based on an innovative concept that gives equal weight to commercial platforms, networking and attractions.
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