Les Glorieuses de Bresse, Bresse poultry contests and markets
After a life of luxury, our ‘poulardes’ and ‘chapons’ are destined to end up in the limelight. Every year in December, since the end of the 19th century, all the focus is on Bresse , since the end of the 19th century, all the focus is on Bresse, as they hold the contests for the chickens known as ‘Glorieuses de Bresse’. These prestigious events are held in four different towns : Bourg-en-Bresse, Montrevel-en-Bresse, Pont-de-Vaux and Louhans in Bresse Bourguignonne.
Regional, national and even international media comes to cover these prestigious poultry contests, where the finest chicken is proudly displayed by some great names in the French culinary world, such as the iconic Georges Blanc.
In the kitchens of the Elysée
A jury of experts is delivering their verdict. The chickens were trussed up in their corsets early morning, and it’s the big day, time to reveal their plump form, their colour and their perfect texture. One minor flaw and they’ll go down in the overall ranking. The breeders still in the running are the real stars of Bresse. In Bourg-en-Bresse for example, the winner of the Grand Prix d’Honneur symbolically receives a Sèvres cobalt blue vase from the President of the Republic, as per tradition since Napoleon III. In exchange, one of the winner’s ‘chapons’ is served at the Elysée over the Christmas period.
The taste of good products
Don’t get us wrong, Les Glorieuses are not about glitz and glamour. We are in Bresse and we prefer to keep our feet firmly on the ground and appreciate the simple things in life. Les Glorieuses are above-all exceptional markets. Because everyone can wander up and down the rows of market stalls and admire the prestigious birds, and talk to the breeders who are easy to identify thanks to their red or black overcoats. Anyone can come here to buy, chat, and listen carefully here and there to the feedback from other visitors in this little world of poultry farmers.
For those who want to find out more, we organise guided tours of the contests in Bourg-en-Bresse and Montrevel-en-Bresse. An opportunity to really experience this rather original world.
C.I.V.B, four letters representing a profession
The poultry farmers of Bresse very quickly understood that it was in their best interest to set up an organisation that would represent Bresse poultry as an industry. This idea was set in stone in 1953, just a few years before Bresse poultry obtained its AOC. Four special letters that would work to represent and promote the excellence of Bresse poultry, as well as advise and train the breeders. The Interprofessional Committee of Bresse Poultry (C.I.V.B.) is chaired by Georges Blanc, the famous chef from Vonnas, with three Michelin stars under his belt.