The South Aegean Region recently submitted a bid to win the title of “European Region of Gastronomy 2019”, an important initiative that could highlight and give international exposure to the quality food offer of the Aegean islands.
A key aim of the European Region of Gastronomy award is to contribute to a better quality of life in European regions, by highlighting distinctive food cultures, educating for better health and sustainability and stimulating gastronomic innovation.
The bid book of the South Aegean Region includes proposals that focus on six areas/fields of action adopted by the region and are directly or indirectly related to nutrition and gastronomy of the South Aegean islands: Culture and Food Diversity, Education, Supporting SMEs, Health, Sustainability, Technology.
By claiming the European Region of Gastronomy award, the South Aegean Region aims to make the gastronomy of the its islands a benchmark in the European gastronomic culture, serving at the same time its main strategic objectives: openness, interconnection of gastronomy with tourism and culture, promotion and distribution of the excellent quality local products of South Aegean in foreign markets, by investing primarily in promoting the “Aegean Cuisine”, which is a strong base and comparative advantage of the South Aegean Region in the competition for the title along fellow candidate regions.
The “Aegean Cuisine” is an initiative launched a few years ago by the Chamber of Cyclades with the support of the Region of South Aegean and the Dodecanese Chamber of Commerce and aims to highlight the Aegean’s wine and gastronomy and promote the islands of the Aegean Sea as one, united, culinary travel destination.
Strategic partners of the South Aegean Region in its claim of the title are the Harokopeio University and the Rutgers University in the USA, that cooperate with the aim of highlighting the Aegean diet, and the University of Bergamo in Italy, in the framework of a survey conducted for food tourism. The candidacy’s ambassador is Arghiro Barbarigou, the official and exclusive airline is AEGEAN, the official sponsor is HELPE and the Sympossio Greek Gourmet Touring is supporting the effort.
The European Region of Gastronomy award is organised by a platform of European Regions with the support of European institutions and co-ordinated by the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism (IGCAT), an international interdisciplinary network of experts aiming to empower and facilitate local communities to realise the potential of their distinct food, culture, arts, sustainable tourism and other local resources.