More than 100 travel industry professionals, media, and food & wine specialists gathered at the French inspired Sofitel Chicago Water Tower Hotel this week to experience “A Taste of La Dordogne,” hosted by Perigord Tourisme Dordogne.

Tourisme-Dordogne-chicagoevWith efforts to showcase the exquisite tourism and gastronomy offerings from the region, guests were able to learn about the destination while savouring some of its best wines and food products.

Monday evening was dedicated to travel trade professionals and the media who had the opportunity to meet with Tourisme Dordogne representatives, including Press and Promotion Manager for the Dordogne Tourism Board, Micheline Morissonneau. Attendees began with a wine reception as they watched a short presentation showcasing the region’s picturesque scenery, historical features and fine gastronomy. Afterwards, guests enjoyed a “Walk in Périgord” dinner and regional wine pairing featuring a special menu prepared by award-winning regional Chef Vincent Arnould from the luxury Relais & Chateaux hotel Vieux Logis. The menu showcased Dordogne’s best delicacies and fare including duck Foie Gras, chestnuts, black truffle, smoked duck, Crème Brûlée and a wine infused strawberry dessert. All the products featured came directly from the region courtesy of local producers including Bergerac, Rougie, Bovetti Artisian Chocolatier, Inovfruit and Picandine.

On Tuesday evening the hotel’s ballroom transformed into a charming French marketplace where the same local producers had the opportunity to showcase their products to Chicago’s wine and food importers, sommeliers, restaurant managers, and other food and wine professionals. Among the products showcased including Bergerac wines, Foie Gras, chestnuts, chocolate and cheese. Once again, Chef Vincent Arnould prepared tasting menus featuring food and wine parings, which guests enjoyed while networking with exhibitors.

Director of the Dordogne Tourism Board, Christophe Gravier said, “We are very pleased with the amount of interest received for La Dordogne from the U.S. market. Through these two events, our guests were able to briefly experience our six key themes for the destination this year, which include special events, adventure, culture, heritage and local delicacies. With our new sales manual, we hope to continue to educate travel trade professionals and help them create tailor-made experiences for their clients.”

The Dordogne in south-west France attracts more than three million visitors annually and offers a wide range of activities for adults, children and sport enthusiasts. The green hills, lakes and rivers provide the perfect natural landscape for outdoor adventures including mountain biking, horseback riding, canoeing and fishing. The Dordogne also boasts the largest number of eco-certified campsites in France, an award that recognizes campsites committed to environmentally friendly principles.

The Dordogne’s rich history compliments the natural beauty of its landscape with fascinating architecture, history. With a year-round calendar of colourful events, the Dordogne is a vibrant, welcoming region offering a stunning backdrop for visitors of all ages to enjoy their favourite outdoor activities and cultural experiences.

For those who want to continue learning about the Dordogne region, Chicago’s Field Museum currently has a special exhibition on display entitled ‘Scenes from the Stone Age: The Cave Paintings of Lascaux’ until September 8, 2013. The exhibit was created by the General Council of Dordogne, with support provided by the Regional Council of Aquitaine, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, and the European Union.

For more information on the Dordogne region, please visit