The table habits of the French revealed

If gastronomy is an art, France is a great master. The story of the nation can be told through its dishes.

If gastronomy is an art, France is a great master. The story of the nation can be told through its dishes. When it comes to creating their perfect menu, the French don't beat about the bush. Mussels and chips are hot on the heels of duck breast. And couscous comes just after blanquette of veal. Meanwhile chilli, sushi and bagels lie in ambush.


Creating a catalogue of French tastes and dissecting the eating habits of the country, "France's 100 favourite dishes"* is a book full of tantalising facts. It portrays a population attached to its culinary traditions, but one that knows how to embrace diversity.


A marvellous spread


This medley of mingling aromas likes to border-hop. When it comes to desserts, chocolate fondant and strawberry tart sit alongside tiramisu and brownies. Created in central Europe and adapted across the pond, the bagel also features among the top dishes, in both its sweet and sandwich versions.


Meanwhile the main dish rankings mix and match flavours: duck breast, mussels and chips, couscous, veal blanquette, rib of beef, leg of lamb, steak and chips, beef bourguignon, raclette and stuffed tomatoes.


Evolution without revolution


The eating habits of a nation: this culinary self portrait implicitly reveals the French art of living. The generous dishes highlight the produce – meats, fish, vegetables or cheeses – while serving as a conversation point. The French spirit in a single phrase? "Dinner's ready!"


Obeying the five golden rules of quality, authenticity, simplicity, empathy and pleasure, "Tables Barrière" well and truly perpetuates this French art of living. Anyone who worships excellent gastronomy and loves to share is welcome to pull up a chair.


A well of creativity


When adding his own twist to the menu of Le Fouquet’s, Pierre Gagnaire follows the basics to the letter, glorifying the produce and simplicity but serving it with a sprig of creativity. Merlan Colbert. Simmental beef tenderloin with peppercorns flambéed in cognac, Champs-Élysées sauce. More than enough to make your mouth water.


* Les 100 plats préférés des Français (France's 100 favourite dishes), Leslie Gogois, published by Hachette Pratique

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