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“Annie’s Tour de France : Culture & Gastronomie” at “Chez Olivier” in Tokyo


On May 23rd, 2015, we were happy to start “Annie’s Tour de France : Culture & Gastronomie” at “Chez Olivier” in Tokyo

This series of conferences/lunches was originally created to introduce, in depth (and beyond what is usually proposed in guide books and tours), not only the history, culture, customs of the various and very different regions which make France what it is, with its well known diversity, but also to familiarize Japanese visitors with each region’s gastronomic tastes which have, in turn, given birth to a large variety of dishes that can be enjoyed when one travels throughout the whole country, from Alsace to Provence or from the Ocean to the French Alps.

We started this first “Tour” in Tokyo with the beautiful FRANCHE-COMTE region.

Following the 90 min Power-Point presentation of the region, its geographical situation, history, traditional customs, architecture and art, illustrated by many pictures (around 200) we took on our travels there, Chef Olivier proposed an elegant and delicious full course meal * presenting the region’s specialties, from amuse-bouche to a rare 32 month-old Comté cheese and a scrumptious dessert, accompanied by local wines enjoyed by all.

Our trip through FRANCHE-COMTE took us from FOUGEROLLES in the north to MORBIER in the south totaling 17 destinations, among them ARBOIS, the capital of JURA wines and POLIGNY. where France’s most enjoyed cheese, COMTE, is produced. We visited BESANCON, the “blue city” loved by the writer Stendhal and where Seiji Ozawa won the 1st prize at the International competition for young conductors in 1959. We couldn’t miss the picturesque city of ORNANS, birthplace of 19th century painter Gustave COURBET and visited his beloved countryside which he painted so many times. We discovered FORT SAINT-ANTOINE, a gigantic underground 18th century ex-fortress, where more than 30,000 wheels of Comté cheese slowly mature and the MORTEAU area, where the famous and delicious smoked sausages of the same name are produced. We also introduced many other interesting places and pretty villages like BEAUMES-LES-MESSIEURS, one of the most beautiful villages in France, and, of course, the restaurants where we tasted the best regional cuisine.

In view of the enthusiastic response of the participants to this conference/lunch, together with Mr Olivier Oddos, we are happy to announce that the series will continue ….

In order to accommodate the large number of people who were not able to attend in May, we will repeat the FRANCHE-COMTE event in the autumn, and will also propose a new beautiful region, in the lower LOIRE VALLEY (from GUERANDE up to SAUMUR in ANJOU), which will be followed by another delicious regional meal prepared by Chef Olivier. The dates of these two events will be announced later in this blog.

For more information (or maps) regarding the regions presented, please contact us at or at We live in France, but welcome your questions or comments.

Hope you will be able to join us at Chez Olivier, later this year !

Meanwhile, have a nice summer.


Annie & Masaaki Shibata


* see menu and photos of the dishes.



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