Le Tour is back. A time for cycling tragics in Australia to sit on the couch until very early in the morning and ponder “Can Cadel do it again?”. An extremely enjoyable companion to the tour has become Gabriel Gate’s Taste Le Tour, exposing all of us to the amazing produce and cooking/wine making talent in France. It’s back, and it will be much fun as before. From the press release:

French chef, Gabriel Gaté, is back for the eighth consecutive year presenting his delicious serves of Taste Le Tour 2012, a gastronomic journey that follows the route of the Tour de France bicycle race. The popular French chef visits every one of the regions of this year’s amazing race, which begins in the Belgian town of Liège. After spending three days in Belgium, the Tour arrives in France to continue through the regions of the Nord Pas de Calais, Picardy, Normandy, Champagne, Lorraine, Franche Compté, the Rhône Alps, Languedoc-Roussillon, Midi-Pyrénées, Aquitaine, Limousin and the Central Area before ending up in Paris.

It’s evident that Gabriel loves his native land as he meets talented artisans, including chefs, pâtissiers (pastry cooks) boulangers (bakers) vignerons (wine makers), fromagers (cheese makers) and, of course, some wonderful cuisiniers (chefs). Throughout the series, Gabriel discovers the outstanding qualities of regional French food and visits some wonderful markets in France and Belgium. Gabriel, who trained in France forty years ago with some of the best French chefs, is in no doubt that France is the most exciting country in the world for food.

Gabriel goes into the heart of Champagne and discovers the vineyard where Dom Perignon is made. In each region Gabriel seeks out the very best cheeses – his great weakness – such as the compté cheese from the Franche Compté region, the Brie de Meaux from around Paris and the cheeses from the north. Gabriel knows France intimately and has chosen some stunning locations, like the Channel coast line in Boulogne-Sur-Mer, the peaks of the Pyreenees and the amazing cathedrals of Rouen and Chartres. In each of the 21 episodes Gabriel prepares a delicious regional dish.

Taste Le Tour with Gabriel Gaté adds a wonderful cultural dimension to the superb coverage of the greatest bicycle race on earth.

Taste Le Tour with Gabriel Gaté screens on SBS nightly during the Tour de France from Saturday 30 June to Sunday 22 July.