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Monique Chatenet - Expert of the Charente gastronomy

Monique Chatenet - Expert of the Charente gastronomy

We meet Monique Chatenet to discuss the Charente’s unique gastronomic traditions…


Tell us about your role...

Since 2001, I have been the Communications Director at Charente Développement, the economic development agency at the Conseil Général in Charente. I am also responsible for the promotion of the agro-food section and as part of this, I launched a website highlighting local specialities in 2007, Charente Terre de Saveurs ( We also have an English language version for our English-speaking friends across the département and France. To promote these products, I visit fairs and salons and create cookery events with chefs.


What is so special about the food and drink of the Charente?

France is known for the diversity and quality of its local products, the attention with which we make them and the pleasure we get from tasting them. In Charente, we are lucky to have an internationally renowned product in Cognac and numerous other drinks appreciated across the world, Pineau des Charentes, Grand Marnier but equally vodka, cognac-based cocktails and vins de pays as well as non-alcoholic fruit juices. The site, Charente Terre de Saveurs, also offers a large selection of charcuteries, meats, cooked dishes, fresh and conserved vegetables, spices and condiments, and sweet specialities as well as seafood from our maritime neighbours. Importantly, we share the history of these businesses, their savoir-faire, and the places where you can buy their products. You can also find numerous recipes by our chefs from our events all year round like Gastronomades in Angoulême.


And what about Gastronomades – what can we expect to see?

Gastronomades runs from the 22-24 November in the centre of Angoulême. The long weekend is entirely given over to the tasting and sale of regional products and, above all, cookery demonstrations by more than 50 local and national chefs. These great shows are held at three sites across the town, Place Champs de Mars, Franquin Theater and Place des Halles. At the end of each demonstration, the audience can taste the dishes and the drinks which accompany them by joining us in the Club des Saveurs Charentaises marquee in Place des Halles. It’s great fun!!


Finally, do you have a favourite speciality to recommend ?

I am naturally an epicurean and this is why I’ve become a ‘Disciple d’Escoffier’ this year. I don’t have a favourite speciality, I love all fresh products that excite my senses, whether they are raw or in dishes. I’d recommend that readers of this superb magazine visit the site to discover the many products available so they can choose their own.