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26 November 2013

South Africa takes centre stage at Dijon International Gastronomy Fair

More than 173 000 visitors attended the International Gastronomy Fair in Dijon, France, where South Africa was invited to showcase its world-renowned wines, exceptional cuisine and fascinating culture.

The South African pavilion at the Dijon International Gastronomy Fair The South African pavilion at the Dijon International Gastronomy Fair

Our cultural pavilion and South African restaurant were a major drawcard at the fair, with thousands experiencing our fantastic cuisine, superb wines and incredible arts and crafts. – Linda Sangaret, SAT country manager: France

Each year thousands of food and wine enthusiasts flock to the Dijon International Gastronomy Fair in Burgundy, France.

This year, South Africa was invited to showcase its products at the fair, which took place from 31 October to 11 November.

The 1 000m2 South African Cultural Pavilion was the highlight of the fair, and thousands upon thousands of people experienced a taste of South Africa.

South African Tourism (SAT) France promoted the country’s cuisine, arts and crafts, and a selection of top South African wines from the Western Cape. There was a restaurant at the pavilion, Le Boma, where Benny Masekwameng, celebrity chef and judge on MasterChef South Africa, prepared traditional South African recipes. Visitors also got to sample South African wines.

Ndebele artist Thembi Kabini and Charlotte Felix-Faure, founder of iTU Espace Design – a Fair Trade art and design boutique that sources art and design objects from southern African artisans and artists – were invited to showcase their artworks on the pavilion.

Guests were entertained by South African singer, actress and poet Naima McLean; Sam Tshabalala and Band; and DJ Mo-Laudi.

Also present was Glenn Flanagan, project leader of French Presence, a cultural tourism research development project based in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

South African Minister of Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk, SAT CEO Thulani Nzima and SAT chief marketing officer Jan Hutton all attended the fair. Minister Van Schalkwyk said he was honoured to be at the fair and very happy that South Africa, its culture, cuisine and wines were being celebrated in Burgundy.

‘Your region and our country have in common a rich history and culture, as well as the love and expertise of winemaking. I hope that your visit to the South African pavilion will inspire you all, too, to visit our beautiful country,’ he told visitors.

Linda Sangaret, SAT country manager: France, said the fair provided a wonderful opportunity to showcase South Africa’s diverse culture.

‘Our cultural pavilion and South African restaurant were a major drawcard at the fair, with thousands experiencing our fantastic cuisine, superb wines and incredible arts and crafts,’ she said.