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Les Journées Particulières LVMH 15 & 16 octobre 2011

This weekend, in Paris and in some other cities in France and abroad, Antoine Arnault and his father, Bernard Arnault, Chairman of the French multinational luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, decided to welcome visitors inside 25 of their houses and show the "behind the stage".
I decided to visit La Grande Epicerie and Dior. The reason why I chose to only focus on those two houses was very simple. I love gourmet food and taste exceptional food. I like to buy pastry, for example, at La Grande Epicerie on Saturdays. Every single bite is like heaven on Earth. La Grande Epicerie offered to its visitors to see and take part in bread-making, pastry making and gourmet food workshops led by its chefs. I was expecting to queue a few hours at every site so I decided to show up at La Grande Epicerie at 9.30 AM considering the visits were supposed to start at 10. When I got there, there was a sign indicating a 2-hour-wait. I did not get scared and started to wait. The weather was very nice with a beautiful blue sky and the temperature outside was clement. Visitors were all delighted to be there and chatting together. We were served tasty macarons to spend time and make our waiting a bit more pleasant. After just an hour, I was introduced inside the store and started the visit. We visited the below-ground production facilities (bread, pastry/desserts and catering). We observed the chefs and their staff working, we learned about their jobs, and taste. I ended up tasting over 15 different things!!! I cannot believe it myself! I had appetizers, main dish, desserts, drinks, cookies, cakes, bread, cheese, etc.
Since 1923, the ground floor of Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche department store has been home to a vast grocery store called La Grande Epicerie de Paris. Over time, it has established itself as a true gourmet institution in the French capital. 25 cooks, 20 bread bakers and apprentices from across the globe work there.