Dijon’s Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie et du Vin opened on Friday 6 May 2022 in Dijon! An eagerly awaited event by scores of visitors all looking forward to seeing what this centre holds for them in store inside… Every week, come with me to explore an area of this site which celebrates the gastronomic meal of the French.

The website of the Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie et du Vin sets the scene: “the exhibition En cuisine is showcased on an experimental and interactive platform. It shines the spotlight on the 5 senses called on when we cook or eat a meal. ”

That was more than enough to pique my curiosity! So for this second week exploring the Cité, I’ve decided to visit this exhibition which promises a surprise at the end…

An exhibition for young and old alike…

Last week, I visited part of the Cité’s ground floor, so this week I head up the entrance lobby staircase to the exhibition entrance.

Just as during my last visit, I am immediately struck by the vast choice of things to see and do. I begin to understand that the Cité’s exhibition areas really are geared towards the “senses”. And if touch plays an important role, in this exhibition we go even further!

I find myself opposite the first interactive screen equipped with a few “valves”, beckoning you to come and smell the aromas that waft out of them when you press on them. The “game” is straightforward: on smelling an aroma, you identify 3 different things that this brings to mind…

Some aromas will make you think of sweet brioche bread, pancakes and even shampoo. Spoiler alert: one even reminds you of the dentist!!!

Games for all the senses!

There is a whole host of interactive games available, some based around smell, others around sight or hearing… And some will even put your memory to the test: will you be able to piece back together the “sounds of music”? I’ll let you find out what that’s about when you come! Watch out anyone with a memory like a sieve! An absolute barrel of laughs if you come with friends.

I thoroughly enjoy a really fun exhibition, as it’s 100% entertaining and hands-on. At one point, for instance, you have to find the best seasonings for dishes like scallops or a rib of beef. It makes me realise just how creative cooking can be! And how I’m clearly not nearly creative enough…

Alice in “Panique en cuisine”!

The exhibition ends with a surprising challenge: a sort of life-size video game whose name is a nod to the famous TV show “Kitchen nightmares”! I go to the entrance and get assigned a kitchen (number 11 in my case) with an interactive screen that looks like a kitchen hob.

There, I have to prepare a traditional recipe from Burgundy within a set amount of time. I suddenly feel a rush of both excitement and stress! I brace myself to rustle up a traditional beef stew, and this is easier said than done.

First you have to go and fetch your ingredients from the interactive fridges at the other end of the room, then you have to follow the recipe’s instructions to the letter. Nothing’s been left out: from choosing your utensils to chopping the ingredients, simmering and cooking … A delicious combination of “Cooking Mama” and “MasterChef”!