The first Bordeaux S.O GOOD festival of gastronomy and the art of living launched almost under the radar five years ago. The initiative was so successful that it’s been repeated yearly ever since. Taking place in late November, Bordeaux S.O GOOD has become the ultimate place to be for food lovers, refined palates and those of a curious nature.
I was bowled over by the first edition of Bordeaux S.O GOOD (“SO” also stands for “south west” in French, the region where the city is found). Its unusual concept is a good match for the locals of Bordeaux and Aquitaine, who are traditionally bons viveurs. This year, the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce and Industry has teamed up with a range of partners to organize three days of festivities, from 16 to 18 November. A weekend during which Bordeaux becomes the international capital of gastronomy.
Chef Pierre Gagnaire will be the patron of this fifth incarnation, accompanied by around one hundred chefs. They’ll be working the ovens in every corner of Bordeaux. Whatever your budget, there’s something for everyone: sampling delicious morsels that combine unexpected ingredients, indulging in sumptuous dinners or enjoying simple lunches. Nothing’s left out, with all products, both sweet and salty, represented.
A trip to Hangar 14 on the banks of the Garonne, which has been rechristened “Foodie Hall” for the occasion and transformed into a giant market offering a wealth of demonstrations, is unmissable. One of the highlights is the auction by the Arcachon Fish Auction House, which decamps to Bordeaux. You could place the winning bid for a lot of fresh fish. To learn how to prepare all of this local produce properly, there are hands-on activities for adults and cooking workshops for little ones. Foodie tours with tastings at every stop are also an unmissable experience at Bordeaux S.O GOOD. And for those who take their food seriously, debates are organized on the themes of food, pleasure, eating well, the art of living, sustainable agriculture and biodiversity.
There’s a lot on offer, and you’ll need to plan your weekend in advance to get the most out of it. Some demonstrations are free, while there’s a fee for others. The Pass, which can be bought in advance on the Bordeaux S.O GOOD website, or in-person, lets you try out unusual culinary creations. It’s vital to book your place for Banquet Night on the Bordeaux S.O GOOD website, from 25 September. There are around fifteen banquets, each organised by a prestigious chef in an unusual location such as a library or museum, and they’re wildly popular. Seats are snapped up as soon as the ticket office opens. The setting, the menu and the wines that accompany it all explain this enthusiasm, which never lessens from year to year. For the brave, there’s a banquet in the dark. And this year’s guest country will be Italy, offering a marriage between the flavours of the Mediterranean and the gastronomy of south west France that promises to be exceptional.
Location: View on the map here.