Each July, in the heart of Australia’s winter, we turn to the familiar faces of SBS as they beam the worlds most famous bike race into our lounge rooms.
For a few weeks, we are given a taste of the beautiful French summer, gifted an encyclopaedic knowledge to French Chateaus, while those so inclined can geek out on cycling stats and jargon for a handful of hours per night for 3 weeks.
A key element to the Tour de France watching experience for those tuning in on the other side of the world is a simple one. Snacks. Whether watching solo or communally, the chosen snack or snacks can elevate the bike race watching experience to other levels, particularly when the weather is rather moody outside.
Which bring us to our guest…
…none other than Mr Gabriel Gaté.
He’s adorned Australian television screens for the best part of 40 years, while for the last 15 years he has presented Taste Le Tour – a 5 minute segment at the start of each broadcast stage of the Tour de France. Along the way he showcases French regional produce, culture and recipes, delivered with such warmth Rémy Martin could bottle it.
With 2019 marking his final Taste Le Tour, what better time to seek snack based guidance than from the man who knows it best in Gabriel. Speaking to us with the same passion you see on the silver screen, he shared his go-to snacks for late night viewing, his take on evolving French cuisine, and deep dived into the (barely) contentious “how much butter is too much butter?” debate.
We hear you on that, Gabriel.
As a man who has provided a delicious and beaming welcome to SBS’s Tour de France broadcast since we were sitting early high school French, we were stoked to get the opportunity to speak with him. Our hour long chat changing everything we knew about late night snack pairings for bike race viewing.
While this year has some big names absent, the 106th running of Le Tour takes in some banging scenery that Matthew Keenan will no doubt describe in such vivid detail. There’s your standard 21 stages we’ve come to expect each July, starting with a few hectic stages in Belgium to get you hot and heavy for next years Spring Classics. Once the race enters France it never leaves, first a jaunt through the Vosges, skrrting as opposed to skirting across the Burgundy region and into the Massif Central, which after that it’s almost all mountains – Pyrénées then the Alps, where our kind of snacking is antithetical to high performance bike racing.
Unless they’re hanging in the Autobus each and every day, or they’re willing to sneak behind their DS’s back, there won’t be much chance for the riders of this Grand Opéra to snack, save for the rest days in Albi and Nîmes. Riders might be able to sneak a croissant or wedge of brie if they’re lucky.
As for us, the common folk? Well…21 stages plus 2 rest days means there’s plenty of opportunity to put our snacking muscles to work. Grab the blanket, reacquaint yourself with that butt groove on the couch and progressively turn your eyes square.
July is also the perfect month for home made snacks. The weather is cold outside, the sun is down real early, and face it, you’re going to be up until at least 1am. We’re speaking with a little bit of AEST privilege here but the coverage is timed perfectly in our eyes. Wrap up dinner, wrassle together or bake up some treats, and hit up the group chat to throw around some invites – a 9.30 starting time is perfect.
Tell us about your favourite snacks, let us take on some recipes – we’ll add them into a growing library that in future years can either elevate the future bike race watching experience, or act as a foundation for an application to Masterchef.