The Languedoc-Roussillon region of France is known for its sun-kissed mountains and beaches, golden fields and, of course, its food. While next-door neighbor Provence is a more well-known culinary destination, the cuisine of Languedoc-Roussillon is similarly bursting with flavor.
So much so, that it's celebrated each year at the Sud de France Festival in New York City. The festival runs June 9-30.
Here's why you should attend the festival:
Perhaps the most famous dish of the Languedoc-Roussillon region is the cassoulet. This rich and hearty casserole is slow cooked and traditionally contains various types of meat and white beans.
For the launch party of Sud de France on June 9, Chef Paul Liebrant will cook a giant cassoulet his own way, which is shrimp and bean based. The party goes down on the Queen of Hearts, a vessel that will take you out onto the Hudson River. After eating and drinking, continue the good times on the dancefloor to the beats of DJ Nancy Whang and Slavic Soul Party. All proceeds go to Wheeling Forward, an organization that helps people with disabilities live a fuller life.
2. Top chefs are cooking
Have you tried to dine at Ignacio Mattos' restaurant Estela and couldn't get in? You're not alone! The buzzed-about restaurant is always packed. Luckily, Mattos is cooking a dinner for the Sud de France Festival. The chefs cooking Tasting Table feasts will offer their own interpretations of Languedoc-Roussillon dishes.
Other chefs include the Sussman brothers, Max and Eli. Max is a chef at the Cleveland in NoLita and Eli is a chef at Mile End in Boerum Hill. To eat food they cook together is a rare treat. Contra chefs and co-owners Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske will also do a Tasting Table dinner.
3. A French block party
In perhaps the most transportive of festival events, this block party inspired by French cabarets will take over an entire city block (74th between Fifth and Madison). There will be a long table running the length of the block creating the feeling of a South of France market, with foods and items available to buy and take home, or eat there. The French chef Laurent Kalkotour of Atrium in Dumbo will make a Languedoc specialty: brandade de morue, salt cod with olive oil.
There will be live music, ice cream from Van Leeuwen and much more.
For more information on the festival and affiliated events, visit the website.