The title of European Regions of Gastronomy 2017 was recommended to be given to the three bidding regions – Bergamo – East Lombardy (Italy); Aarhus – Central Denmark Region(Denmark) and Riga – Gauja Region (Latvia) on Friday 3 July 2015 at the Fundació Alícia in Catalonia. The international jury, presided by Carlos Fernandes from the Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo, Minho and comprised of other European Region of Gastronomy partners – Prof. Dr Ilie Rotariu of the Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu; Blanca Cros from the Catalan Tourism Board; Claire Robert from the Conservatoire International des Cuisines Méditerranéennes; Anja van Hout of Agrifood Capital, as well as external IGCAT experts: Prof Janez Bagataj from University of Ljubljana and Ilona Sares from ProAgria North-Savo – congratulated each region and gave its recommendations.
The jury was impressed with the work undertaken by all candidate regions in preparing and presenting their bids and commented how each region had managed to integrate the different focus areas of the European Region of Gastronomy very well into their programme, presenting a long term view of the event and its legacy, and all three regions had obvious gastronomic strengths on which to implement their programmes, with a strong commitment from the regional partners to the programme and a good stakeholder base with representatives from public, private, third sector and knowledge institutions.
The three regions were all awarded the title as the three proposals complement one another. In East Lombardy the bid is about living culture, Riga-Gauja Region’s bid is about natural heritage and Aarhus/Central Denmark Region’s bid about innovation as a source for recovering lost heritage. It is believed that all three regions will benefit strongly from sharing the experience of being European Regions of Gastronomy because of these different approaches.The jury also had recommendations for each region, which included how to include local people into their proposals, and how to promote collaboration between SMEs at European level.
The official award of the title will take place at a ceremony to be held on 29 September 2015 at EXPO Milan